Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 16 – Southern Utah (2-7) suffered a pair of setbacks at the Hillenbrand Invitational on Saturday. The T-Birds rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie their game against No. 16/19 Arizona (7-0) before seeing the Wildcats add three more runs for a 6-3 win. SUU was then shutout 8-0 by Purdue (5-4) in a later matchup.
The Thunderbirds fell behind to tournament host Arizona after giving up runs in the second and fourth innings. Courtney Rodriguez got things going for the Wildcats with an RBI single early on and Lauren Young added a two-run shot over the left field wall to set the lead at 3-0.
SUU started a rally in the top of the fifth as Terysa Dyer drew a leadoff walk and Madison Resley singled up the middle to give the T-Birds two on with nobody out. Freshman Kylee Wolf then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and Megan Neilson came in for a pinch-hit homerun that knotted the game at 3-3.
Arizona would recapture the lead in the bottom half of the frame however after second baseman Chelsea Suitos reached home from third on a double steal. Chelsea Goodacre then drove in two more runs with an RBI single up the middle to stretch the lead back to three with the score at 6-3.
Ashley Ostler entered the game to record the last two outs from the circle for SUU, then held the Wildcats scoreless in the sixth, but the Thunderbirds were unable get on base in the final two innings to fall by 6-3 final.
Ariel Zimmerman (1-4) took the loss for the T-Birds after allowing six runs on nine hits over 4.1 innings. Estela Pinon (3-0) gave up just three runs on four hits and threw all seven innings to pick up the win for Arizona.
The second contest of the day belonged to the Boilermakers as they scored eight runs on nine hits in a five-inning game. SUU was held scoreless after putting together just three hits in 18 at bats.
Purdue opened up a 4-0 lead after Danielle Fletcher got things going with an RBI double down the left field line and Maia Monchek brought in two more runs with a single to right center in the first inning. The Boilermakers added another score in the following frame and three more runs in the final two innings to set the final count at 8-0.
Thunderbird starter Danielle Axe (1-3) took the loss after surrendering four runs on four hits and recording just one out. Ostler went 3.1 innings in her second relief appearance of the day and Zimmerman threw the final inning. Lilly Fecho pitched the first four frames to earn the win and Lexy Moore closed out the game in the circle for the Boilermakers.
Resley finished the day 3-5 at the plate for the T-Birds with a double and a run scored. Mikkel Griffin had two hits between the two games, including her third double of the season.
Southern Utah will have a couple of weeks off before returning to the field at the Libby Matson Tournament in Stockton, Calif. on March 3-5. The Thunderbirds will face San Jose State and Pacific on Friday, before meeting up with Nevada on Saturday. Coverage of the games is available at www.suutbirds.com.
Sat. Oct. 18
vs. Snow College
Sat. Oct. 11
@ Brigham Young University
Sat. Oct. 11
@ Utah Valley University
Fri. Oct. 10
vs. Salt Lake Community College
Sat. May. 17
@ Long Beach State
(L) 6 -9
Fri. May. 16
Fri. Oct. 24
@ Dixie State