UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 20, 2024

Softball heats things up to start the season

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Women’s softball fired up in Tucson, Arizona, by starting its season winning four of six games at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

The Storm headed to Tucson Friday to play Midwestern State University winning 9-1 and Colorado State University winning 11-1.

Sheila Gelter, a senior elementary education major from St. George, said the team played great this tournament by either winning or staying right with the opposing team.

“We hit the ball well, we fielded the ball well and we played together,” Gelter said.

The first two games started off with strong pitching from junior pitcher Aryn Feickert and senior pitcher Michelle Duncan. Feickert let MSU earn only one walk off two hits, while Duncan only allowed one hit against CSU. Feickert also had five walks and struck out nine.

“Our pitchers did an awesome job, and we answered by scoring runs,” Gelter said.

Senior second baseman Nicole Chavez and junior catcher Autumn Woodfall had two RBIs in the win against MSU, while sophomore short stop Josey Hartman and freshman outfielder Janessa Bassett both had two against CSU.

The next two games the Storm stayed hot, beating MSU 10-3 and Metropolitan State University of Denver 9-1 Saturday.

Hartman, a sophomore integrated studies major from Mapleton, said the team played dynamic softball.

“We moved runners when needed and hit them in at clutch moments,” Hartman said.

Feickert struck out seven against MSUD, while sophomore pitcher Brooklyn Beardshear pitched three scoreless innings against MSU.

The tournament ended with two losses on Sunday, but the team still stayed on top of its game and still stayed right there with the opposing teams, Gelter said.

The Storm went up against University of Central Oklahoma, losing 1-2, and No. 1-ranked West Texas A&M University, 4-5.

Feickert struck out 13 batters in the loss against UCO. Senior outfielder Courtney Hine had two RBIs while sophomore infielder Mallory Paulsen had one in the loss against West Texas A&M.

The game against West Texas went into extra innings after Woodfall tied it up at the top of the sixth.

The Storm were ahead at the top of the eighth, but the Buffs tied it up in the bottom half and then got an RBI that ended the game.

The women are excited for the season to start and are excited to play in next week’s tournament in Vegas, motivated to play even better than this weekend, Gelter said.

“We need to go into this tournament with the mentality of winning and earning it pitch by pitch,” Hartman said. “If we all have that mindset we will be ready.”

The Storm will play in Las Vegas at the Desert Stinger Tournament starting Friday at 7 p.m.