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UVU softball: Wolverines drop two one-run games on Friday in San Diego

Utah Valley sophomore Cera Stanley waits for the pitch. She delivered a two-out, two-RBI game-tying single in the seventh inning of Friday's contest against UIC.
Utah Valley sophomore Cera Stanley waits for the pitch. She delivered a two-out, two-RBI game-tying single in the seventh inning of Friday's contest against UIC.
UVU Athletics

Cera Stanley delivered a clutch two-run single in the seventh and Brittney Vansway drove home the go-ahead run in the eighth, but it wasn't enough as Utah Valley University dropped its second game of the San Diego Classic I to Illinois-Chicago, 9-8, in eight innings on Friday afternoon at the USD Softball Complex. The contest marked the second setback of the day for UVU, as it previously fell by a score of 4-3 to Pittsburgh in the tournament opener Friday morning.

With their backs against the wall trailing by two runs with two outs in the seventh, pinch hitter Stanley delivered the game-tying two-run single up the middle to force extra innings. Dana De La Torre and Hailey Kofler reached on a respective fielder's choice and a walk in the frame and then advanced to second and third thanks to a wild pitch just prior to Stanley's clutch hit.

With the international tiebreaker then in effect in the eighth, Vansway came through with a go-ahead sacrifice fly to center to give UVU (4-14) an 8-7 lead. The Flames (8-8) answered, however, with two runs of their own in the last of the eighth with back-to-back two-out hits from Dana Cappochi and Kaleigh Nagle to complete the come-from-behind extra-inning win over UVU.

Despite falling to UIC, Gatlin led the Wolverines in the contest by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a double and a stolen base, while Kristy Snyder and Stanley finished with two RBIs and a hit apiece.

The Wolverine offense got things going early in the ballgame against the Flames, as they scored two in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 5-1 advantage. Gatlin started the scoring with a two-run double in the third, while Tiani Hensley delivered an RBI single in the fourth and Snyder blasted out a two-run home run to left in the fifth to give UVU the four-run lead.

UIC then responded with a six-run sixth to take a 7-5 advantage of its own. The Flames managed to score six runs in the frame on just one hit, as UVU handed out five free passes and an error in the frame.

Bailey Moore suffered the loss in the circle for Utah Valley to drop to 2-7, as she allowed one earned run (three total) on five hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Karissa Frazier (2-1) picked up the win in the circle for UIC by giving up two earned runs on just one hit in 3.1 innings.

In the opening game of the day, Pitt (12-4) managed to score four sixth-inning runs to secure a one-run come-from-behind win over the Wolverines. With UVU holding to a 3-0 advantage in the sixth, the Panthers scored four runs on four hits to take a 4-3 advantage. The first five batters of the inning reached base for Pitt in the frame, and Kaitlin Manuel and Erin Hershman delivered the big hits with back-to-back RBI doubles to tie the game at 3-all. Alexis Solak then brought in the go-ahead run with a safety squeeze to put the Panthers on top for good.

The reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Sarah Dawson recorded the win to improve to 5-0 on the season by giving up just one hit and no runs in an inning and a third of relief in the ballgame, while UP's Kayla Harris came on to earn the save after going an inning and two-thirds without allowing a run. Kellee Ramsey (1-4) was tagged with the loss in relief for UVU after giving up two earned runs in two innings of work.

The Wolverines jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the contest thanks to a run in the second and two more in the third. Vansway opened the second inning with a leadoff single, and pinch runner Kendall Ohman came around to score for her later in the frame on a two-out wild pitch. Jaymee Lawton and Morgan Smith then each singled in the third, and Gatlin drove then both home with a clutch two-run, two-out single up the middle.

Despite suffering the loss to Pitt, seven Wolverines recorded a hit against the ACC foe, including Gatlin's two-RBI performance.

Gatlin finished the day by going a combined 3-for-8 with four total RBIs.

UVU continues the San Diego Classic I on Saturday with two more games at San Diego State University's SDSU Softball Stadium. The Wolverines first face Boston University at 10 a.m. MT, before taking on Saint Joseph's at 12:30 p.m. MT. Utah Valley then concludes the weekend tournament on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. MT game against No. 11 Texas A&M.

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