Thunderbirds Wrap Up Play In Montana
MISSOULA, Mont. - The Southern Utah and University of Montana softball teams wrapped up a three-game series Saturday afternoon in Missoula, Montana. The two Big Sky conference opponents split day one of competition, setting both teams up for a series win in the game three rubber match. A five-run fourth inning propelled the Grizzlies to an 8-3 victory and allowed them to take two of three from the Thunderbirds.
The Griz got on the board in the first inning as back-to-back singles and a throwing error allowed second baseman Gabby Martinez to score and make it 1-0 Montana early. The Thunderbirds answered back in the third inning when shortstop Kendall Kapitzke and designated player Karlee Manzione hit back-to-back RBI singles scoring Payton Hart and Sarah Murphy and putting the T-Birds up 2-1.
After giving up an unearned run in the first, starting pitcher Kirsten Hostetler cruised through the next two innings. She put down seven Grizzlies in a row, not allowing a baserunner until shortstop Delene Colburn singled with one out in the fourth. That single sparked a five-run, five-hit rally for Montana, giving them a 6-2 lead when all was said and done.
The Grizzlies would extend their lead in the sixth, adding two more runs on a Martinez single to left center making it 8-2 with just three outs left for the Thunderbirds. SUU loaded the bases to start the last-chance seventh, but were only able to score one run on a fielder’s choice by right fielder Nicole Simonson, eventually falling 8-3.
Sarah Murphy had a solid day at the plate for the Thunderbirds finishing three for four with one one run scored. Payton Hart continued her strong series with a two for three day at the plate and one run scored. The senior finished four for nine throughout the series and was able to raise her batting average from .283 to .304 on the season.
Coming Up Next
The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Tuesday April 4th in Cedar City. They will host the Utah Valley Wolverines for an afternoon doubleheader at Kathryn Berg Field.
Stay Up to DateTo stay up to date during the games and throughout the 2016-17 season follow @SUUSoftball on Twitter and Instagram and like the SUU Softball page on Facebook.