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Utah Softball Advances to Super Regionals

The Utah Softball team advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history over the weekend.

Utah advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history after beating the hosting Kentucky Wildcats 5-3 in the final game on Sunday. Utah has been to the College World Series before, but never the Super Regionals. The last time Utah advanced this far was 1994 and the Super Regionals did not exist yet. Utah won the first two games of the NCAA Regionals, the first team in program history to do so, to advance to the regional finals.

Coming into Sunday with, Utah needed to beat Kentucky once to move onto the Super Regionals. Kentucky, who had lost previously to Utah the day before needed to beat Utah twice on Sunday to advance.

In the first game on Sunday, Utah pitcher Miranda Viramontes set a career high for strikeouts with nine, but Kentucky's pitcher Megan Prince was also dealing, allowing only six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Kentucky scored four runs in the third inning and held on to force a second game on Sunday.

With the loss in game one, game two on Sunday was an elimination game for both teams, with the winner advancing to Super Regionals. It was a tight 0-0 contest until the fifth inning, when Pac-12 Player of the Year Hannah Flippen delivered a base hit to left with two runners on base, scoring one to take a 1-0 lead. Anissa Uretz followed up with a two run single to give Utah a 3-0 lead.

Jenny Schnaper of Kentucky tried to bring Kentucky back in the bottom of the inning with a solo homerun. In the sixth, Utah gained a run back on a squeeze bunt from Heather Bowen to make the score 4-1. In the bottom on the inning Kentucky made it close scoring two runs to cut the lead to 4-3. Utah responded once again in the seventh however, with Hailey Hilburn singling in an insurance run to make the final score 5-3.

Utah will now head to Super Regionals in Tallahassee, FL where they will take on no.8 Florida State over the weekend. Other Pac-12 teams to advance to this stage were UCLA, Washington, Arizona and Oregon. Super Regionals are a best of three series between two teams with the winner advancing to the NCAA Women's College World Series. Utah will kick off Super Regional action on Friday at 2:30 pm MT.