Utah Softball Forces Game Three With SDSU

May 27, 2023, 7:47 PM | Updated: 8:55 pm

SALT LAKE CITY –ย Game one was no doubt disappointing for Utah softball Friday night, but they more than made up for it Saturday, forcing game three with San Diego State on Sunday.

The Utes smelled blood in the water early with Ellessa Bonstrom hitting a home run in the first inning to help put Utah up 2-0 on the Aztecs. Julia Jimenez pretty much put the game out of reach for SDSU in fourth inning after hitting a grand slam that put Utah up 7-1. Shelbi Ortiz added the exclamation point in the fifth inning hitting one more home run for the Utes and making the final score, 10-1.

Utah and SDSU will face off one last time on Sunday, May 28 at 12:00 p.m. MT in hopes of advancing to the World Series in Oklahoma City.

The ‘Chess Match’ Between Utah and San Diego State Ramps Up

Both sides recognize the importance of Sunday’s final matchup for a chance to play in the World Series. Head coach Amy Hogue anticipated a “chess match” in the lead up to the series with the Aztecs earlier in the week, and indicated it was living up to her expectations.

“I like that after two games we have seen all of their pitchers and they haven’t seen ours,” Hogue said. “I think that tomorrow will be a continuation of what the chess match is going to look like. I have an idea of who they are going to throw because she beat us the first day, but I think that there is so much strategy in it especially when you are in a series and on day three. So many different ways you can pitch to each of their hitters and a lot of notes. There will be some homework tonight so I am glad we ended a little earlier so we can get studying.”

San Diego State head coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz isn’t as sure that the fact Utah has really only used one of their pitchers up to this point is going to make as big of a difference as Hogue anticipates, but she does know everything is on the line on Sunday.

“We have seen Moriah Lopez and no disrespect to the rest of their staff, but I will bet my mortgage she is in the circle tomorrow,” Deniz said. “With their season on the line, that is who we will see. Now, if we get to her, then that’s a different story. If we get to her, then I like our chances. She is their ace and her inning numbers prove that so there’s no mystery there. If they play chess and do some other thing, then awesome and we will be fine because we have prepared for all of their other pitchers. We know she is their go-to. At the end of the day, she has thrown upward of 250 pitches against us. And to her credit, she’s done a phenomenal job of continuing to be successful even though we have seen her a number of times.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) andย The Saturday Showย (Saturday from 10 a.m.โ€“12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her onย Twitterย andย Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Softball Forces Game Three With SDSU