OKLAHOMA CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah softball team’s first appearance in the Women’s College World Series in 29 years was a short one.
After losing to Washington 4-1 on Friday afternoon, the Utes got eliminated Friday night, as Oklahoma State poured it on in route to an 8-0 victory.
Sydney Sandez was unable to get out of the second inning, giving up six runs on five hits while recording just three outs.
The Cowgirls scored twice in the first inning and six more times in the second inning, to earn a run-rule victory over the Utes.
Utah got outscored in its first WCWS appearance since 1994, 12-1, and managed just six hits total in the two losses.
The Utes finish this season at 42-16 and their .724 winning percentage is the program’s highest since 1994. The Utes also achieved their highest win total since they also won 42 games in 2000 and achieved the highest conference win total since they joined the Pac-12.
“Super proud,” said head coach Amy Hogue. “Proud of what we did because it’s an entire season, right, that we’re talking about. They accomplished so much. So, it was fantastic year for the Utes.”
The Cowboys started quickly in the first inning, grabbing a 2-0 lead on an RBI single off the bat of Katelynn Carwile.
In the second, the first seven OSU batters reached base, fueling a six-run rally that extended the lead to 8-0. The big blow was a two-run double courtesy of Morgyn Wynne.
Halle Morris came on in relief of Sandez and held the Cowboys’ offense at bay after that, tossing scoreless ball in the third and fourth innings. But the Utes couldn’t find a way to scratch out a run against Lexi Kilfoyl, who pitched all five innings for OSU.
Aliya Belarde, Jordyn Gasper and Haley Denning had the only three hits for the Utes, all singles.
Utah had a chance to extend the game in the fifth inning, but after the Utes had runners on second and third with nobody out, Kaylah Nelson lined out to the pitcher, Emily Capobianco struck out, while Belarde grounded out to end the game.
“We’ve tried so hard our past five years to get here,” said Denning. “It’s just awesome to be here. We wanted to try to win for our team, but obviously it sometimes doesn’t happen like that. I just want to give a shout-out to my team because this has been amazing with them and they’re awesome people.”
“Last year wasn’t how we wanted to end,” said senior infielder Ellessa Bonstrom. “So, from the very beginning of this year we knew that the World Series was our goal. It started from the very first practice to the very first meeting. I mean, we knew we wanted to end at the World Series. To say that we actually did is honestly a dream come true.”