Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
OGDEN, Utah, April 19 – Southern Utah recorded its highest scoring total of the season to claim a 12-2 victory in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader at Weber State, then came back to down the Wildcats for a second time by a score of 6-2 in the second matchup to improve its Big Sky record to 7-4 on the year, as well as 14-26 overall. WSU drops to 3-11 in conference play and 8-34 for the season.
“We are starting to play the way we are capable of playing,” stated SUU head coach Kyle Magnusson. “We really hit the ball well, it was flying around the park today.”
The Thunderbirds grabbed a quick 3-0 advantage in their first turn at the plate in the day’s opener. Kadi Henderson drove a double into left centerfield to bring Mikkel Griffin around from second before Madison Resley found the gap in right for another RBI double to score Kelsey Bryant from third and Henderson from second.
SUU tacked on three more runs in the next inning with a home run from freshman Kylee Wolf. Katie Olinger and Kelli Hales started the inning with back-to-back singles before the Thunderbird’s leadoff batter drove a pitch down the line and over the left field wall for her second round-tripper of the season.
The Wildcats got a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Brooke Ford, and added another score in the following frame to bring the count to 6-2.
Wolf collected two more RBI in the top of the fifth by driving a single left center with runners on second and third. She then scored as Griffin blasted her sixth home run of the season down third base line to stretch the margin to 10-2. Bryant followed up with her second double of the game and scored after Henderson reached on an error. Resley drove a pitch back up the middle to drive her in for the sixth run of the inning, extending the SUU lead to 12-2.
Ariel Zimmerman picked up two more K’s in the fifth to up her strikeout total to eight in the game. The junior right-hander went all five innings, giving up just one unearned run on six hits, to move to 9-15 on the year while improving her mark in the Big Sky to 6-4. Kylee Colvin (4-8, 1-4 BSC) took the loss for the Wildcats after surrendering 12 runs on 13 hits in the game.
Southern Utah kept the scoring going in the second outing, starting the contest with five more runs in the first inning to jump out to a 5-0 lead. The first two runs came on a bases loaded walk and a passed ball before Olinger drove an RBI single back up the middle. Meagan Neilson then drove in her first run of the day with another RBI single and Hales followed up with a double to plate the fifth score.
Another base hit by Olinger in the next inning pushed the advantage to 6-0 before the Wildcats got their first run of the game with a solo shot from Krystin Kubo in the bottom of the fourth. WSU then got another score in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-2.
Danielle Axe (3-7) went five innings in the circle for SUU in the second game and was credited with her first conference win after allowing just two runs while striking out three batters. Morgan Allaband (4-16) took the loss after being charged with three runs in just a third on an inning.
Wolf finished the day with five RBI and a pair of runs scored for the T-Birds while Bryant collected three doubles to up her total to 15 for the season.
“Danielle was on today, and Ariel battled through to get us out of some key innings,” commented Magnusson. “We put ourselves in a good position in the conference by getting to 7-4.”
Southern Utah will look to complete the series sweep when the two teams meet in weekend finale tomorrow at Noon. Coverage of SUU softball is available on www.suutbirds.com.