Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
CEDAR CITY, Utah, Apr. 6 – Southern Utah (11-26, 5-4) took a 6-5 win over visiting Sacramento State (18-15, 3-3) with a two-out RBI single off the bat of senior Kelsey Bryant in the bottom of the eighth inning on Saturday. The Thunderbirds picked up their second straight series win at home to move up to third place in the Big Sky standings halfway through the conference season.
“Today we showed how good we can be,” stated SUU head coach Kyle Magnusson. “Kelli (Hales) was phenomenal and our defense played great behind Ariel.”
SUU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Griffin drew a walk in the opening frame and then came around to score as Bryant laced a ball to right field for an RBI double. The T-Birds added to their advantage two innings later when Griffin drove in another run with a well-placed single.
Sacramento State loaded up the bases in the top of the fourth before Riley Price and Yesenia Alcala posted back-to-back base knocks to even the score at 2-2. Southern Utah retook the lead in the following inning however after freshman Kylee Wolf hit a lead off triple then crossed the plate on another drive from Bryant. SUU would stretch the margin to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Wolf drove in a run with an RBI double and later came around to score on an error.
The Hornets led off the seventh inning with a single for Alexa Chattleton followed by an RBI triple from Kelli Frye. Alyssa Vanderdrink then blasted a home run to right field to tie things up at 5-5.
The game remained level until the bottom of the eighth when Wolf drove the ball down the third base line for a two-out single. Griffin followed up with another base hit to left and Bryant made it three-in-a-row with a shot in the gap to bring in the winning run.
The three SUU sluggers had a tremendous day at the top of the order for the T-Birds, combining for five RBI and five runs scored while recording nine hits in 13 at bats including a pair of doubles and a triple. Wolf would finish the day 4-5 at the plate with an RBI and four runs scored, Griffin turned in a couple of hit and pair of walks and Bryant posted three RBI on three hits including the game-clinching knock in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Ariel Zimmerman (7-15) went the distance in the circle for Southern Utah, allowing five runs on 12 hits to pick up the win. Taylor Stroud (4-6) was charged with the loss for the visitors after coming on in relief for starter Caitlin Brooks who gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings.
“You have games at home that you need to win, and we have gotten two of those series,” explained Magnusson.
The Thunderbirds now get set for another Big Sky road series as they prepare to travel to North Dakota next weekend. The two teams will open things up with a doubleheader on Friday at 1:00 p.m. before playing a final game on Saturday at noon. Coverage of SUU softball is available on 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