Freshman Kylee Wolf recorded her first double for SUU
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Edged by Utah Valley and Arkansas

February 08, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication
ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 8 – Southern Utah (0-3) softball continued early season play with two more contests at the Red Desert Classic on Friday but came away still looking for its first win of the year after dropping a 3-0 decision to Utah Valley (2-0) and taking the University of Arkansas (2-0) down to the wire before coming away with a 3-2 defeat.

“In the second game we hit the way that we are capable of hitting,” stated SUU head coach Kyle Magnusson. “When we come out like that we can play with anyone.”

The Thunderbirds had a hard time getting their bats going against UVU as they put up just four hits in their first game of the day. Junior pitcher Ariel Zimmerman (0-2) kept things close however as she went the distance in the circle for SUU, giving up just three runs while striking out eight batters.

The Wolverines took the lead in the top of the third as Kylee Brinkerhoff drove a two out single to left field with the bases loaded to drive in a pair of runs. She would then provide the third Utah Valley run in the fifth inning after coming around to score on an RBI double off the bat of Amanda Robinson.

SUU loaded up the bases in its last turn at the plate, but a ground out to the pitcher sealed the 3-0 win for UVU. Tiffany Mills (1-0) recorded 10 strikeouts while pitching a complete-game shutout for the Wolverines.

Southern Utah displayed significantly more fight against the Razorbacks, twice battling back to tie the score in the contest. Arkansas took an early lead after shortstop Clarisa Navarro crossed the plate on an error to put her team up by one. SUU then came back in the third on a solo blast from senior Mikkel Griffin. The Hogs retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning however as a ground out RBI made the score 2-1.

The T-Birds would level the game again in the fifth inning with a pair of doubles from Katie Olinger and Kelsey Bryant, the second bringing the SUU catcher home to even things up at 2-2.

The score remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when Arkansas got a lead off walk followed by a walk-off RBI double from Navarro to claim the 3-2 win.

Danielle Axe (0-1) pitched a complete game for Southern Utah, giving up just two earned runs while recording six strikeouts. Chelsea Cohen (2-0) earned the win in relief after allowing one run and striking out four in three innings of work.

“Danielle threw great against an SEC team that was in the tournament last year,” commented Magnusson. “They had some hits against her, but none of them were hit very hard. If her and Ariel keep this up they are going to give us a very good one-two punch.”

SUU wraps up play at its season-opening tournament on Saturday with games against Seattle and Utah State. The T-Birds take the field against the Red Hawks at 11:00 a.m. then meet the Aggies at 1:30. Coverage of the games is available at