Softball Secures Series Victory Over Hornets With Doubleheader Sweep
CEDAR CITY, Utah - The Southern Utah softball team kicked off their final home series Friday afternoon with a doubleheader against Big Sky opponent Sacramento State.
Game One: SUU 9, Sac State 3
Junior Hanna Wynn started game one in the circle for the Thunderbirds and she pitched a gem. Wynn threw four scoreless innings to start the game and forced the Hornets to post five scoreless innings total. She ran into trouble in the fifth when the Hornets used three hits and a sacrifice bunt to score two runs and take a 2-1 lead.
The Thunderbird offense, always itching for the opportunity to pick up the defense, answered back immediately with two runs of their own, taking advantage of an error by the Hornets and a RBI single from catcher Morgan Leonard. Leading 3-2, the Thunderbirds put up six more runs in the sixth inning, all with two outs in the inning. Karlee Manzione kicked things off with a three-run home run to center field to make it 6-2. Javlyn Weaver, Payton Hart, and Leonard all followed the blast with RBI singles of their own, extending the lead to 9-2 and leaving the Hornets with just three outs to try and make it up.
Sac State’s Suzy Brookshire hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the seventh, but Wynn was able to finish out the game and secure the 9-3 win for the Thunderbirds.
“It was great day to be a Thunderbird today,” head coach Tom Gray said. “Hanna Wynn gave us a great performance in the circle in game one. She’s got that warrior mentality and she really battled today. We hit the ball really well and had another one of those T-Bird innings where we scored a bunch of runs all together.”
Game Two: SUU 8, Sac State 7
The Thunderbirds picked up in game two right where they left off in game one. After freshman Samantha Guile put down the first three Hornets she faced, Southern Utah opened the scoring with a four-run first inning. The top of the order jumped on Sac State’s Danielle Sperry with four straight singles. Weaver followed with a two-RBI single to make it 3-0 and Leonard made it 4-0 with a double to center field.
The Hornets chipped away at the 4-0 lead, scoring a run in the second, third and fourth innings. The Thunderbirds put up another run in the third and held a 5-3 lead heading into the fifth inning. The Hornets only hit two balls out of the infield in top the fifth, but found a way to score three runs in the inning and take a 6-5 lead.
With another opportunity to answer back, the Thunderbird offense stepped up once again, putting up two runs and retaking the lead. Manzione tied things up at 6 with a RBI double to left center and Megan Reed gave the Thunderbirds the 7-6 lead with a RBI single up the middle, scoring pinch runner Ashley Boylan from second base.
SUU would take that 7-6 lead through the sixth and into the drama filled seventh inning. Down to their final out of the day, the Hornets tied things up on a solo home run from Traci Shaw, forcing the Thunderbirds to bat in the bottom of the seventh. With one out in the inning, shortstop Kendall Kapitzke came to bat and worked the count full. She sent the sixth pitch of the at-bat over fence in center field for her second walk-off solo shot of the season.
Relief pitcher Cheyenne Cudahy picked up the win in game two after pitching three innings and giving up just three hits and one earned run. The top four hitters in the Thunderbird lineup were a combined 10 for 15 in game two with four RBI’s and seven runs scored.
“Sammy gave us some good solid innings in the second game and when she ran into a little bit of trouble Cheyenne came in a did a great job in relief,” Gray said. “That’s a really tough position to be in, but she has a knack for getting outs when she needs to. It also never hurts to walk-off at the end of the day.”
Coming Up Next
The Thunderbirds and the Hornets will wrap up the three-game series tomorrow at noon. Sacramento State’s seniors will be honored prior to the start of the game and the Thunderbird seniors will be honored following the conclusion of the series. Links to live stats and live video are available at suutbirds.com.
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