SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Cal's defense turned two double plays and every Golden Bear batter tallied a hit, but softball's strong effort fell just short as Utah claimed a 6-5 victory Friday evening in Salt Lake City.
Junior Cheyenne Cordes went 2-for-4 with a three-run triple, and freshman Kylie Reed scored after hitting her first collegiate triple. Senior LaRisa Jones went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
The Bears got on the board with Reed’s triple at the top of the fourth, which paved the way for an RBI single by junior Danielle Henderson.
Starting pitcher and freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch no-hit the Utes through four innings before giving up a three-run homer at the bottom of the fifth to give Utah its first lead. Trina Gomez drew a walk and Shelby Pacheco got the Utes’ first hit of the day on a single to left field before Chalese Hadley got her bat on the ball to score three. The Cal defense gave up a third hit on a bunt single by Hannah Flippen before sophomore Nisa Ontiveros entered the circle to relieve Sutherland-Finch. A single up the middle sent Flippen two bases over to third before Anissa Urtez plated her with a sacrifice bunt for the 4-1 Utah lead.
The Bears answered with four runs of their own in their next chances at bat. Junior Breana Kostreba hit it to third base and Kostreba went to second as the throw to first got lost in the sun. A ground out by senior Victoria Jones helped Kostreba over to third before senior Jordan Wallace singled down the left line to bring her across. Sophomore Jasmin Mejia singled up the middle and L. Jones walked to load the bases. With the table set and two outs on the board, Cordes catapulted a ball to right field and made it a 5-4 ballgame.
The Utes weren't so quick to give up, again taking the lead with a single by Kristen Stewart followed by a long ball to left field by Marissa Mendenhall.
Ontiveros (9-9) earned the loss after allowing two runs and three hits in 1.2 innings. Sutherland-Finch struck walked four and allowed three hits and four runs in her 4.1 innings at pitcher. Utah's Kayce Nieto allowed four hits and one run in her 3.2 inning start, but it was Mariah Ramirez (5-5) who claimed the win. Ramirez allowed five hits and four runs with one walk in 3.1 innings. Neither team struck out a batter in Friday's game.
Cal returns for the final game of the series Saturday at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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