Thunderbirds Open Series With Win Over Vikings
HILLSBORO, Ore. - A three hour rain delay and three RBI’s from senior Karlee Manzione gave the Southern Utah softball team a 6-4 win in game one of a three-game series with the Portland State Vikings.
“Hats off to Portland State’s staff, who worked very hard for us to be able to play today. Both teams worked through a lot of adversity with an over three hour long rain delay,” head coach Tom Gray said. “I’m very proud of our girls and how they kept grinding after all the delays. They refused to give up after falling behind and battled like champions. An outstanding effort all around.”
Both teams got on the board early Friday afternoon. The Thunderbirds struck first on a Manzione sacrifice fly to center field that scored leadoff batter Sarah Murphy from third base. Murphy had reached on a walk, stole second base, and made it to third on Nicole Simonson’s sixth sacrifice bunt of the season. The Vikings would answer back in the bottom of the first inning with a sacrifice fly of their own to tie things up at one.
With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the third, and runners on first and second for the Thunderbirds, the weather became too much and the game was sent into a rain delay. The delay ended up lasting three hours and 17 minutes and play did not resume until afternoon had become evening.
When play resumed, Manzione picked up her second RBI of the game, knocking in Murphy once again and giving the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead. The score would remain 2-1 until the fifth inning when the Vikings used just two hits to score three runs and take a 4-2 lead.
The Thunderbirds responded immediately with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth. Shortstop Kendall Kapitzke hit a two-RBI double, scoring Simonson and Payton Hart, and Manzione got her third RBI of the game with a single to center field, allowing Kapitzke to score. Sophomore Ashley Boylan, pinch running for Manzione, made the score 6-4 when she scored from third base on a wild pitch from relief pitcher Alyssa Burk.Senior Kirsten Hostetler shut down the Vikings in the final two innings to secure the 6-4 win and put the Thunderbirds up 1-0 in the series.
Hostetler, who started the game in the circle for the Thunderbirds, only gave up five hits in her seven innings of work picking up her fifth win and fifth complete game of the season. She now holds a 5-5 record in 2017. Senior Megan Reed had a big day at the plate going three for four with two singles and a double to start the series.
Coming Up Next
The Thunderbirds and the Vikings will play games two and three of the series tomorrow night. First pitch for game two is set for 6:00 p.m. Mountain time with the final game of the series following about 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.
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