PORTLAND, Ore., Mar. 23 – After splitting their first two meetings of the weekend, Southern Utah (7-20, 1-2) and Portland State (9-21, 2-1) returned to the field for the series finale on Saturday. SUU took an early lead but was unable to hold on as the Vikings rallied to edge the Thunderbirds by a final score of 5-4.
The T-Birds offense got going early as the team jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning. Senior Kelsey Bryant started the scoring by hitting an RBI double drive in Mikkel Griffin from first before Kadi Henderson added two more runs with her second home run of the series.
The Vikings came back in the following frame as Alexa Morales slapped a two run RBI double to left and then tied things up in the third on a solo shot by Carly McHeran. The home team would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Hendrickson tallied two more scores with another home run.
The Thunderbirds cut the deficit in half in the next inning with a RBI base hit from Kylee Wolf, but PSU held on down the stretch to claim the 5-4 victory.
Ariel Zimmerman (4-11) threw all six innings for SUU, and gave up five runs on seven hits while striking out three batters. The Vikings got a complete game from starter Anna Bertrand (6-12) who allowed four runs on eight hits with two K’s.
Henderson moved into the team lead with her fifth home run of the year as well as her 18th RBI while Bryant drove in her 17th score this season with her eighth double.
Southern Utah returns to Cedar City next week to play its first home games of the season. The T-Birds host Boise State in a two-game set on Tuesday starting at noon then open their Big Sky home slate with a series against Idaho State beginning with a doubleheader on Friday at 2 p.m. Coverage of SUU softball is available on www.suutbirds.com.