Ellessa Bonstrom, Abby Dayton Lead No. 19 Utah Softball Over Arizona Wildcats

Mar 21, 2023, 9:37 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

SALT LAKE CITY – A wild weekend in Tucson saw the No. 19 Utah Utes softball team take two of three games against the then-No. 17 Arizona Wildcats. For their efforts, graduate senior Ellessa Bonstrom earned her second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor in a row while Abby Dayton was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

The Pac-12 made the announcements on Monday, March 20.

Utah (20-4, 5-1) opened their Pac-12 regular season with a three-game sweep of Oregon State, launching the Utes into to top-25 for the first time since 2017 and setting the stage for a showdown against the Wildcats.

Game 1

In game one, Utah won 8-3 for their 11th consecutive victory and improved to 4-0 in league play for the first time since 2000. They have never started 4-0 in the Pac-12.

Game 2

On Saturday, the Utes scored two runs in the top half of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead. Arizona plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.

Utah went on to score five runs between the eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t slow down a streaking Arizona offense.

Utah took a 9-6 lead into the ninth but Arizona answered with a three-run home run to tie the game. Later in the ninth, a bases-loaded walk ended the winning streak and gave Arizona the 10-9 victory.

Game 3

Less than 24 hours later, the Wildcats scored six runs off of starting pitcher Mariah Lopez as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings. The Utes rallied for four runs in the third but gave it all back when Arizona plated four runs in the fourth.

Arizona led 11-5 after four innings.

Over the next three frames, the Utes scored eight unanswered runs to snare the 13-11 win and a series victory. Halle Morris shut down the Arizona offense, throwing three scoreless innings with one strikeout.

About Ellessa Bonstrom

3 G, .444 AVG, 4 H, 2 HR, 1 2B, 5 RBIs, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 11 TB, .615 OBP, 1.222 SLG

Playing in her hometown of Tucson, Bonstrom became the second Ute to win two Pac-12 Player of the Week awards in a single season, joining Hannah Flippen in 2015.

For the season, Bonstrom leads the Utes with eight home runs and 33 runs batted in.

With 157 career RBI, she is 19 runs batted in shy from becoming the program’s all-time leader. Bonstrom is also within range of being the Utes’ all-time leader in sacrifice flies and bases on balls.

About Abby Dayton

3 G, .600 AVG, 6 H, 2 2B, 6 RBIs, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 TB, .636 OBP, .800 SLG

Dayton became the first Ute to win Pac-12 Freshman of the Week since Kelly Martinez was recognized in 2017.

The freshman out of Riverside, California joined the Utes after being a four-year starter on the Norco HS softball team. She was twice named all-league and earned an all-state selection in 2021.

In 14 starts, Dayton has 11 hits and six RBI.

Against Arizona, she was a critical part of two high-scoring contests. Between games two and three, Dayton reached base six times and scored thrice while plating six Utes. She also picked up her first extra-base hit of the season with a pair of doubles in Sunday’s comeback win.

Up Next

The No. 19 Utes return to Salt Lake City and Dumke Family Softball Stadium where they are scheduled for a trio of non-conference games. Utah takes on the Boise State Broncos at 4 p.m. (MT) on Wednesday, March 22.

On Saturday, March 25, Amy Hogue’s Utes are scheduled to face Weber State in an afternoon doubleheader. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MT).

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes


Michelle Bodkin

How To Watch Utah Gymnastics At Nationals

The Red Rocks are competing in their 48th straight Nationals after pulling off a comeback for the ages in Regionals to advance.

7 hours ago

tanner banks...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Tanner Banks Fighting Through Early Season With Struggling White Sox

It's been a quiet week for Utahns in the big leagues, with only former Utes Tanner Banks and Oliver Dunn active at the Major League level.

13 hours ago

Rice Eccles Stadium general view at University of Utah - How to watch Utah Football...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletics Celebrates Student-Athletes, Teams At Crimson Carpet Awards

Utah Athletics celebrated their stellar student-athletes on Monday, April 15 in their annual Crimson Carpet Awards.

2 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Football Shares Transfer Portal Wish List

Utah football wrapped up their spring practices over the weekend and now the spring NCAA Transfer Portal season is upon us.

2 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah WBB Star Alissa Pili Is One Of Many Headliners In 2024 WNBA Draft

The popularity of women's basketball is on the rise thanks to a surge of name-brand talent such as Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili.

2 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Women’s Basketball Star Alissa Pili Goes No. 8 Overall In 2024 WNBA Draft

Former Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili is heading to Minnesota after the Lynx took her No. 8 overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Ellessa Bonstrom, Abby Dayton Lead No. 19 Utah Softball Over Arizona Wildcats