Mikkel Griffin was 5-5 at the plate and recorded a walk-off RBI single
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Takes Victory, Series Over Idaho State

March 30, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah, Mar. 30 – Southern Utah (9-23, 3-3 BSC) clinched its opening Big Sky home series with an 8-7 win over visiting Idaho State (13-17, 1-2) Saturday afternoon. The Thunderbirds held the advantage early on but ISU battled back to tie things up late and then took a one-run lead it the top of the seventh. SUU answered with a solo home run from Madison Resley in the bottom half of the frame and Mikkel Griffin added a two out RBI single to claim the victory for the T-Birds.

“Whenever Madi gets a good swing on the ball she has a shot to hit it out of the park,” stated SUU head coach Kyle Magnusson. “That was just one of several big two-strike hits that we had in that inning.”

Idaho State took the first lead of the day with a score in the top of the first, but SUU came back with four of its own in the inning to build a 4-1 advantage. Freshman Kylee Wolf and Mikkel Griffin each safely reached base before Kelsey Bryant drove a three run home run over the wall in left field for her fourth deep shot of the season. Kadi Henderson then singled up the middle and eventually crossed home plate on an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Cora Cordova to put the T-Birds up by three.

SUU extended the margin with a solo shot from Griffin in the following frame, but the visitors came back with a pair of runs in the third inning to cut the deficit to 5-3. Bryant drove in another run in the fourth to add to the SUU lead but Idaho State would plate three runs in the top of the sixth to level the count at 6-6. ISU picked up its first score with a double steal before Amanda Fitzsimmons tied the game with a two run shot over the wall in right field.

With the score still tied at 6-6 in the final inning, Maddy Hickman drove in a go ahead run for the Bengals with an RBI double down the right field line. SUU trailed 7-6 heading into the bottom half of the seventh until Resley sent a lead-off home run to centerfield on a full count to even things up again at 7-7.

The Thunderbirds proceeded to load the bases as Katie Olinger came off the bench for a pinch hit single, Kelli Hales squeezed a single into left field and Wolf drew a base on balls. Griffin would then deliver the walk-off hit with a rip to right field and SUU took the win by a final score of 8-7.

SUU starter Ariel Zimmerman (6-13) was solid in the circle, earning the win by allowing five earned runs on 10 hits while throwing all seven innings. Fitzsimmons (5-10) took the loss for the Bengals after giving up four runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings of relief.

Griffin finished the day 5-5 at the plate for SUU with two RBI and two runs scored, while Bryant drove in four more runs while going 3-4. Hickman tallied three RBI to lead the visitors and Fitzsimmons chipped in two more.

“Mikkel had her best game of the year,” observed Magnusson. “We’ve been waiting for her to have a day like that and today she relaxed and had some good at bats. Her and Kelsey had eight hits between them, which is just what we need from them.”

Up next for Southern Utah is a break from conference play as the T-Birds will travel south this Tuesday for a two-game set with Dixie State. Play is scheduled to get underway at 3:00 p.m. in St. George. Coverage of SUU softball is available at www.suutbirds.com.