SUU Shuts Out Idaho State to Advance to Big Sky Conference Final
The Thunderbirds took the first lead of the day after getting back-to-back home runs in the opening frame. Wolf pulled a ball down the left field line that cleared the fence and Kadi Henderson followed up with a shot to right center to put SUU out in front 2-0.
Wolf went long again in the third, after Sara Park led off with a base hit to left, to extend the advantage to four. Lyndsey Healey tacked on a solo shot to straightaway center in the inning to make it a 5-0 game.
Wolf came up again with two outs and runners on the corners in the top of the fourth and drove an RBI single back up the middle to add to the lead. Idaho State threatened in the bottom half of the inning after the first two batters reached on walks. SUU second baseman Meagan Neilson caught a liner and scooped up a grounder to start a double play to get the T-Birds out of the jam with the score still at 6-0.
Neilson hit a deep fly ball for a sacrifice RBI in the top of the fifth and Healey was hit by a pitch with the bases full in the sixth to increase the margin to 8-0. ISU loaded up the bags in the bottom of the inning, but the Thunderbirds were once again able to turn two on a ground ball to seal the run-shortened victory.
Greenberg (6-7) gave up just four hits from the circle and recorded two strikeouts to become the first Big Sky pitcher to post a complete game shutout against the Bengals this season. ISU used three pitchers, each of whom lasted two innings. Starter Jessica Tolmie (8-4) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on five hits.
Wolf went 3-for-4 at the plate for four RBI and two runs score. Her two home runs brought her total to 10 on the season while Henderson homered for the ninth time. Healey and Park both recorded a pair of hits for the T-Birds.
Southern Utah will face Idaho State again in Saturday’s championship round. The Thunderbirds have two tries to get one win over the Bengals to lock up the title. The start time for the first game is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m. Tournament coverage is available online at www.suutbirds.com and www.bigskyconf.com.