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UVU softball: errors doom Wolverines on day one of Wilson/DeMarini Classic

Junior Tiani Hensley lowers to catch the ball. Hensley went 3-for-5 at the plate on Friday with five RBIs.
Junior Tiani Hensley lowers to catch the ball. Hensley went 3-for-5 at the plate on Friday with five RBIs.
UVU Athletics

Untimely errors proved costly for the Utah Valley University softball team Friday as it fell to Indiana and Hawai'i at the Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic in Henderson, Nevada.

UVU (3-4) opened the tournament with an 8-7 loss to Indiana (2-4) of the Big Ten Conference and followed it up with a 17-3 setback to Hawai'i (5-3) of the Big West.

"It just wasn't our day," head coach Nikki Palmer said. "We weren't ourselves. But I'm hopeful that we can turn it around and play like we did at the opening tournament on Saturday."

The Wolverines held a 7-4 lead late in the opening game against the Hoosiers until a couple of costly errors allowed IU to score four times in the last of the sixth to take the lead. Indiana's Miranda Tamayo then retired the Wolverines in order in the seventh as the Hoosiers held on to take the contest by a mere run.

UVU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning over Indiana thanks to a two-run home run from junior Tiani Hensley, as well as an unearned run off an IU throwing error. Indiana answered, however, with three runs in the last of the third to tie the contest at 3-3. The Hoosiers then took their first lead of the game, at 4-3 in the fourth, but back came UVU with four runs of its own in the fifth.

In that big four-run fifth, the Wolverines produced five hits including three for extra bases. Sophomore Brianna Gatlin and Hensley each had doubles, while freshman Kristey Snyder recorded a pinch-hit triple. Hensley and Snyder, as well as freshman Taleigh Williams and Jaylen Watson, each drove home runs for Utah Valley in the frame.

Freshman Makayla Shadle (1-1) suffered the loss in relief for UVU while Tamayo (1-3) picked up the victory for the Hoosiers.

Hensley and Gatlin led Utah Valley at the plate as each recorded a pair of hits. Hensley finished going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored while Gatlin went 2-for-4 with a run.

In the second game of the day, the Rainbow Wahine took control in the second inning by plating 10 runs. Just two of the 10 runs were earned, however, as the Wolverines committed four errors in the frame.

UVU then managed to push across three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame thanks to an RBI single from junior Dynasty Lauvai and a two RBI double from Hensley. But that's as much offense as the Wolverines could muster, as Hawai'i went on to take the contest by a score of 17-3 in five innings.

Starter Bailey Moore was saddled with the loss for UVU to drop to 2-3 on the year, while UH's Brittany Hitchcock improved to 1-3 with the win.

Six Wolverines recorded a hit apiece in the game, and Hensley led the way by going 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a walk.

As a whole, Hensley went 3-for-5 on the day with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs.

The Wolverines look to bounce back Saturday when they continue play at the Wilson/DeMarini Desert Classic against Portland State at 2:30 p.m. MT. UVU then faces New Mexico at 4:45 p.m. MT, later Saturday. Utah Valley closes play at the tournament Sunday by taking on No. 25 Cal State Fullerton at 10 a.m. MT. All three games will be played at the Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex in Henderson.

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