The Utah Valley University softball team will step out of conference play on Tuesday for a midweek doubleheader at in-state foe Southern Utah in Cedar City. The non-conference twin bill is slated to begin at noon and 2 p.m. MT, at SUU's Kathryn Berg Field.

Live video and live stats will be available for both games by visiting SUU TBirds website.

The Wolverines enter the midweek doubleheader with an 8-15 overall record and a 0-3 start to Western Athletic Conference play after getting swept at the defending conference champion New Mexico State Aggies this weekend. NM State took the tightly contested games by scores of 8-5, 4-3 and 7-3.

In Friday's series opener, UVU's comeback attempt fell short in the 8-5 loss to the Aggies. Trailing 8-2 in the seventh inning of the contest, the Wolverines scored three runs in their final at-bat, but it wasn't enough as NM State held on to take the opener.

The Wolverines then responded in Saturday's first game of the doubleheader by jumping out to a 3-0 lead following a three-run, first-inning home run from senior Brittney Vansway. The round-tripper tied her with teammate Lyndsay Steverson for the WAC lead with eight. UVU's lead didn't hold up, however, as NM State went on to score four runs the next couple of innings to take the contest. The Aggies then secured the sweep with a 7-3 victory in the nightcap of the twin bill.

Despite dropping the finale, UVU junior Makayla Shadle pitched five scoreless innings of relief where she gave up just one hit. Freshman Taylor Miller batted .375 in the three games, while fellow freshman Caragh Morris hit .364 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Vansway paces the Utah Valley offense on the season with a .397 batting average. She also leads the league in runs batted in with 38 and is tied for the league lead in homers with eight. Junior Lauren Frailey is tops the Wolverine pitching staff with a 5-5 record and a 3.44 ERA.

About Southern Utah

The Thunderbirds enter Tuesday's twin bill with a 7-19 overall record and a 3-3 start to Big Sky Conference play. SUU took two of three from Northern Colorado in its opening conference series on March 24-25, before dropping two of three at Montana during the weekend. The T-Birds were picked to finish fifth in the Big Sky this season after going 13-40 overall last season and 8-12 in league play.

Kendall Kapitzke leads Southern Utah at the plate with a .324 average, six homers and 18 RBIs, while Kristen Hostetler fronts the pitching staff with a 4-5 record and a 5.21 ERA.

Tuesday's opener will mark the 22nd all-time meeting between the Wolverines and T-Birds. SUU enters the doubleheader holding to an 11-9-1 all-time advantage even though UVU has won five of the last six meetings.

On deck for UVU

Following Tuesday's twin bill, Utah Valley will return to Orem for a three-game WAC series at Wolverine Field against conference foe CSU Bakersfield this weekend. The series will feature a single game on Friday at 2 p.m. and a Saturday doubleheader at 2 and 4 p.m.

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