SOFTBALL: Senior center fielder Kara Foster and sophomore right fielder Jasey Jensen each went 4-for-7 at the plate, but the University of Utah softball team suffered its first defeats of the season to No. 12/11 California (10-4) and Hawai'i (11-8) in the first day of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Friday at Eller Media Stadium in Las Vegas.
Utah (5-2) scored plenty of runs in the first inning of both games, but could not turn its fast starts into victories.
Foster went 4-for-7 with a home run and three RBIs on the day, including a two-run homer against Hawai'i. The Derby, Kan., native also scored two runs and had four putouts and an assist from her center field position in the Ute defense.
Jensen was 4-for-7 at the plate with a solo home run against Hawai'i. The Layton, Utah, native also stole a base and was credited with a putout in right field.
In a 10-4 loss to Cal, Foster and Jensen both went 2-for-3 with a home run apiece against the Golden Bears. The Utes struck early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning against the Golden Bears, but Cal put together an eight-run fifth inning to take control of the game and send Utah to its first loss of the season.
Against Hawaii, the Utes struck early again with five runs in the first inning. The Rainbow Wahine came back with seven runs in their first three at-bats. After a scoreless fourth inning, both teams' offenses came alive again. Utah put up three runs in top of the fifth, but Hawai'i promptly responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to seal the victory.
Utah continues its Louisville Slugger Desert Classic schedule today against Cal State Fullerton (10 a.m. MT) and Indiana (4:45 p.m. MT).
BASEBALL: The Utah baseball team dropped it season opener to UC Davis on Friday, 4-1, at Davis, Calif.
Nik Gumeson and Michael Beltran each had a hit for the Utes in the loss. Jordan Whatcott, who pitched 52/3 innings and had two strikeouts, took the loss. Bryn Card pitched the final 21/3 innings and had three strikeouts, giving up just one hit.
"We didn't adjust at the plate during the ballgame," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We came out and hit some balls hard in the first two innings, then the pitcher adjusted and changed his strategy and we didn't do that. He did a nice job keeping us off balance."
Utah got on the board first in the second inning. Gumeson, making his Utah debut, led off the inning with a single to center field. He stole second base and scored on a pair of fly outs.
UC Davis came back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1 on David Popkins' RBI double. He put the Aggies in the lead in the fourth inning with a two-run homer. UC Davis added an insurance run in the sixth inning on an RBI double from Paul Politi.
Dayne Quist pitched a complete game on the mound for UC Davis.
The two teams are back in action today. Although they were originally scheduled to play a single game, the teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. due to inclement weather scheduled to move into the area on Sunday.
SKIING: Eva Huckova led all Utah skiers on the first day of the Nevada Invitational, earning her fourth podium finish of the season. Utah was in fifth with 352.5 points after day one at Truckee, Calif.
Huckova finished tied for second in the slalom with a time of 2:04.41.
Martin Liljemark led all Utah Nordic skiers with a sixth-place finish in the 10-km classical race, finishing in 24:22.3. Didrik Smith finished 10th in 24:31.7. Zoe Roy also had a top-10 finish in the women's 5-km classic race. She placed eighth in 14:21.8.
The men's alpine team was led by Torjus Krogdahl's 16th-place run in the slalom (2:04.77).