Mikkel Griffin collected her fourth home run of the season on Saturday
SUU Strategic Communications

Southern Utah Earns Split in Opening Day at Mizuno Invitational

March 09, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication
RIVERSIDE, Calif., Mar. 9 – Senior outfielder Mikkel Griffin hit a three-run blast in extra innings to help Southern Utah (4-13) take a 3-1 win over IUPUI (7-9) at the Mizuno Invitational on Saturday. The Thunderbirds bounced back to split a pair of games after starting the day with a 6-3 defeat to Buffalo (3-10) in the tournament hosted by UC Riverside. 

SUU took an early 1-0 lead in its first outing after Terysa Dyer drove a single down the right field line to score Griffin from third in the opening frame. Buffalo then evened the score in the top of the third on RBI single from freshman Anissa Pinedo.

The Thunderbirds retook control with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning as Kelsey Bryant recorded a solo shot to left field for her second home run of the year and Katie Olinger added a groundout RBI to put SUU in front 3-1.

The Bulls erupted for five runs on six hits in the fourth however to go up by three. Sammi Gallardo started the scoring by grounding out to short for an RBI and Alexis Curtiss brought in the tying run with a base-knock to left field. Andi Saucier put her team ahead with a bunt single before Jessica Griffin added another RBI single and Alyssa Ward scored on an error to set the final margin at 6-3.

Senior pitcher Danielle Axe (1-6) took the loss for the T-Birds after being charged with four runs over 3.1 innings. Ariel Zimmerman closed out the game for Southern Utah, allowing two runs in 3.2 innings. Three different pitchers appeared in the circle for the Bulls, with Nicole Aviles (2-1) earning the win on three scoreless innings of relief.

The second game of the day contained significantly less offense as both squads played through seven scoreless innings. The Thunderbirds then started the top of the eighth with a runner on second, as per tournament rules, before Olinger reached on an error to give SUU two on with nobody out. Griffin would then blast a three-run shot to right-centerfield to put her team up 3-0.

IUPUI got a run back during its turn at the plate when Ali Moseir drove in a score by hitting into a double play, but Zimmerman (3-6) shut down the Jaguars from there to take the eight inning victory. The SUU starter finished with eight strikeouts and zero earned runs while giving up just three hits. Nikki Thomas (1-3) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over eight innings.

Kadi Henderson finished the day 3-7 at the plate with a run scored for the T-Birds while Griffin’s three RBI topped the team in the two contests. 

The Thunderbirds continue tournament play tomorrow when they face IUPUI in a rematch set for 10:00 a.m. (MT) SUU will then return to the field on Monday for a doubleheader against UC Riverside. Coverage of the games can be found at www.suutbirds.com.