Thunderbirds Fall Just Short In Rematch With Wolf Pack
ST. GEORGE, Utah - The Southern Utah softball team wrapped up play in the St. George Red Desert Classic Sunday afternoon with a rematch against the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Two weeks ago, the Thunderbirds played the Wolf Pack in the UNLV DeMarini Desert Classic and were defeated 6-1. Looking for revenge and a win to end the weekend, the Thunderbirds found themselves down 1-0 early in this one as the Pack used back-to-back extra base hits off of starting pitcher Hanna Wynn to start the game. After the rough start Wynn settled in, allowing just one baserunner through the next five innings.
The Thunderbird offense out hit the Wolf Pack through the first five innings, but were not able to produce a run. They came close in the fourth when Kendall Kapitzke worked a walk and Karlee Manzione doubled down the left field line, but the game remained 1-0 Wolf Pack after five innings of play. The final two innings are where things started to heat up for both teams.
The Pack scored two runs in the top of the sixth on a Kenzi Goins RBI double to right and an Erika Hansen RBI single up the middle making it 3-0. The Thunderbirds answered in a big way in the bottom half of the inning. Payton Hart got things started by reaching on an infield single to third base and Kapitzke followed with a two-run blast to left center to cut the Wolf Pack lead to just one run.
After a strikeout from Manzione, Javlyn Weaver tied things at 3-3 with her first home run of the season, a towering shot over the fence in right field. After a pitching change for the Pack, Megan Reed picked up her second hit of the game with a single up the middle, but could not come around to score by the time the inning came to an end.
The Wolf Pack responded with a run of their own in the top of the seventh on two timely hits and an unfortunate error by right fielder Rylie Nance. Down to their final three outs, the Thunderbirds went down in order ending the game and giving the Wolf Pack their second victory of the season over the Thunderbirds.
“With the exception of one game I thought we played pretty good softball throughout the weekend. You tend to remember that one game where we didn’t play well, but I think we need to continue to dwell on the things we did well,” head coach Tom Gray said. “I’m very happy with our pitching staff. We had a lot of good performances and I think our offense is starting to come around.”
The Thunderbirds will host their second tournament of the season next weekend when Utah State, Bradley University, and Wagner College travel to Cedar City for the Beehive Classic.
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