2020 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Feb 6-16
Puerto Vallarta, MX

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Utah vs. Ole Miss - 2020 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge

Feb 14, 2020

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – Julia Noskin's tie-breaking single in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted Utah to a 5-4 win over Ole Miss in its opener at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.

With the game knotted at 4-4 and two outs, Haley Denning legged out an infield hit and took second on an errant throw. Noskin followed with a single up the middle that proved to be the decider in a game the Utes never trailed.

Utah started strong at the plate against its foes from the Southeastern Conference. Denning walked and advanced to second on a throwing error. A wild pitch allowed her to take third and another saw the speedy left fielder score the game's first run.

After a walk to Madi Jacobus, Alyssa Barrera and Ellessa Bonstrom followed with singles for another run. BreOnna Castaneda laid down a sacrifice to plate another for a 3-0 lead after one inning. Dating back to last season, Bonstrom and Barrera have both reached safely in their last 13 contests

Ole Miss answered in the second, loading the bases and then tying the game on a Utah fielding mistake. The damage could have been worse if not for a play made at the plate. The Rebels attempted a double steal but Jacobus alertly read the play and threw home to Katie Faulk, who expertly applied the tag.

Mary Beth Feldman was the starter for Utah and she ran into trouble again in the fourth, but she was able to get two outs before Sydney Sandez entered and kept Ole Miss off the board. The sophomore worked the final 3 1/3 innings to improve to 5-0 on the year.

Utah used that emotional lift to take the lead once more. Destiny Quiles started with a single up the middle and after a Faulk bunt, pinch-hitter Makayla Hurst belted a double into the right-center gap.

A single by Bonstrom, her third hit of the night, and a double by Castaneda put the Utes in business again in the fifth. However, they were unable to extend the lead and it stayed a one-run game.

It seemed those runners left on base may prove costly as Ole Miss evened the score on an infield hit in the top of the sixth, but Noskin's timely single and some solid defense by Bonstrom in the seventh sent the Utes to their sixth-straight win to open the 2020 season.

It will be a daunting doubleheader for the Utes tomorrow as they play No. 6 Texas at 3 p.m. CT and No. 12 Tennessee immediately after.