Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
LOGAN, Utah, April 17 – Southern Utah (12-26, 5-4 Big Sky) used a late run to break a 4-4 tie and held on to defeat Utah State (8-36) by a final count of 5-4 on the road Wednesday afternoon. The Thunderbirds claimed their third win over USU in as many games this season.
“It’s always good to win games, especially close ones. It’s important to learn to how to these types of games at this time of year,” explained SUU head coach Kyle Magnusson. “We were able to overcome some mistakes today. There were times that we could have folded, but we didn’t.”
Kelsey Bryant put Southern Utah up early with a two-run blast to left in the top of the first inning. The T-Birds then loaded up the bases, but were unable to add to the advantage and the lead remained 2-0 at the end of the opening frame.
Utah State evened things up with a two-run RBI double knocked off the wall in left center by M Harmon in the second inning. The Aggies then recorded a third run on an error to go up, 3-2.
Kylee Wolf drew a two-out walk with the bases full in the following frame to bring the score even for a second time and Mikkel Griffin took another base on balls to put SUU back in front, 4-3.
The T-Birds gave up another run on an error in the bottom of the fourth and the game was deadlocked again at 4-4. Southern Utah retook control in the sixth as Bryant started the inning with a lead off double and later came around to score the go-ahead run as SUU went back up, 5-4.
Utah State threatened in the bottom of the sixth after putting runners on the corners with just one out, but Ariel Zimmerman got the Aggies to pop up two straight balls to Kelli Hales at shortstop to get out of the inning. The junior pitcher went on to close out the game out in the circle, allowing just one unearned run in 4.2 innings to improve to 8-15 on year. Danielle Axe got the start for SUU, allowing two earned runs on a pair of hits in the first two innings. Noelle Johnson took the loss for USU to drop to 3-13.
The Thunderbirds drew a season-high 10 walks in the game, but surrendered 11 bases on balls to the Aggies. Bryant collected her fifth home run of the year along with her team-leading twelfth double.
“Kelsey has been our best hitter this year. Her home run gave us a boost right away,” stated Magnusson. “When you get on a roll like that the ball starts looking bigger and it is fun to hit.”
Southern Utah returns to Big Sky action this weekend as the team visits Weber State for the first time in conference play. The Thunderbirds and Wildcats will meet in a doubleheader on Friday at 2:00 p.m. before finishing up with a single 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