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UVU softball: Wolverines look to continue winning ways in Las Vegas this weekend

Part of the UVU softball team huddles up at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe.
Part of the UVU softball team huddles up at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe.
UVU Athletics

Fresh off a 3-2 start to the 2015 season at the Kajikawa Classic last weekend, the Utah Valley University softball team heads to Henderson, Nevada, to take part at UNLV's Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic. UVU will play five games in three days at the tournament beginning Friday.

The Wolverines open play against Indiana, a team that UVU defeated in its last game this past Sunday, at 12:15 p.m. MT, on Friday. Utah Valley then takes on Hawai'i on Friday at 2:30 p.m. MT. The Wolverines face Portland State (2:30 p.m. MT) and New Mexico (4:45 p.m. MT) on Saturday before closing play against No. 25 Cal State Fullerton on Sunday (10 a.m. MT).

All five games will be played at the Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex in Henderson, and live stats will be available by visiting UVUStats.

UVU went 3-2 last weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, with a pair of wins over Big Ten foes, as well as another over an opponent from the ACC. UVU defeated Wisconsin — a team that was receiving votes for the top 25 at the time — by a score of 9-5. UVU also defeated Indiana, 4-1, and Virginia, 5-4. The Wolverines also suffered losses to Bradley (7-1) and San José State (10-7) at the season-opening tournament.

The win over Wisconsin marked UVU's first over a team from the Big Ten, while the victory over Virginia was the program's first over a foe from the ACC.

Junior Dynasty Lauvai led Utah Valley offensively as she hit an even .400 with two home runs, three doubles and six RBIs. She belted out both of her long balls in the win over the Badgers as she finished with five RBIs in that contest. Fellow junior Morgan Smith is next with a .385 clip and three stolen bases, while sophomore catcher Kori Barrios is hitting .375. Barrios also hit a timely home run in the victory over Indiana, as she broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh with a three-run bomb to help the Wolverines record the 4-1 win over the Hoosiers.

Sophomore right-hander Bailey Moore led the Wolverines in the circle by going 2-2 with a 3.85 ERA. Moore was a workhorse as she pitched 23.2 innings last week with 19 strikeouts. She also recorded wins over Virginia and Indiana as she went the distance against the Hoosiers and 6.1 innings against the Cavaliers. True freshman Makayla Shadle too pitched well for UVU as she went 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA at the Kajikawa Classic. Shadle went the full seven innings to earn the victory over Wisconsin.

About the competition

Friday's meeting with Indiana will mark the second-straight contest between the Wolverines and Hoosiers. IU is 1-4 on the young season with a win over San Diego at the Kajikawa Classic. Besides the loss to UVU, Indiana also suffered setbacks to Western Michigan, Oregon State and No. 16 Arizona State. IU went 17-39-1 a year ago and 5-18 in the Big Ten. Friday's game will mark just the second all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Hoosiers.

Hawai'i is 3-2 on the year after defeating St. Mary's twice, as well as No. 25 DePaul at UH's Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic in Honolulu last week. Both of the Rainbow Wahine's losses came by the hands of No. 4 Oklahoma. Hawai'i went 22-28 a year ago and 7-14 in the Big West. Friday afternoon's contest between UVU and UH will be the third all-time meeting. Hawai'i holds a 2-0 series lead.

Portland State too opened its season at the Kajikawa Classic last week and is off to a 2-3 start with wins over Nevada and UTEP. Fresno State, San José State and Fordham handed the Vikings their losses. PSU went 8-36 a year ago and 3-14 in Big Sky Conference play. Saturday's contest will mark the 16th all-time meeting between the former Pacific Coast Softball Conference foes. Portland State enters the game with a 9-6 series advantage.

New Mexico also opened its 2015 campaign at the Kajikawa Classic last week and went 3-2 with wins over Seattle U, San Diego and UC Santa Barbara. UNM's two losses came by the hands of BYU and Cal State Northridge. The Lobos went 16-36 last season and 7-17 in the Mountain West. Saturday's game will be the 11th all-time meeting between UNM and UVU. The Lobos have won nine of the previous 10 contests.

The ranked Titans are 4-1 on the year after picking up victories over Purdue, Idaho State, Notre Dame and Northwestern State at the SoCal Collegiate Challenge in Fullerton, California, this past weekend. Cal State Fullerton's lone loss was to Notre Dame. CSF went 33-21-1 overall last season and 13-8 in the Big West. Sunday's contest will mark the first all-time meeting between the Wolverines and Titans.

Up next for the Wolverines

UVU heads to Northridge, California, to face Cal State Northridge in a doubleheader on Feb. 25. Following the twin bill against the Matadors, the Wolverines remain in Southern California to take part at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational that weekend.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit