ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 6 – Southern Utah (0-2) opened the season with back-to-back losses to Utah State (1-0) and BYU (1-1) on Thursday. Both games turned into run-shortened contests as the Aggies collected an 8-0 shutout victory over the Thunderbirds and the Cougars got a walk off home run from junior first baseman Megan Arnold to come away with a 10-2 win after five innings.
SUU was held to three hits between the two games, two of which came from senior Meagan Neilson. The Thunderbird infielder drove a single into left field against USU and then came back with a hit to drive in a pair of runs against BYU for both of Southern Utah’s RBI on the day. Sophomore centerfielder Kylee Wolf provided the third hit with a single down the line in the third inning of the T-Birds’ matchup with the Aggies.
Senior Ariel Zimmerman (0-1) got the start in the season-opener, going two innings while giving up five runs on three hits and walking five batters. She also came on in relief in the fifth inning against the Cougars and allowed three more runs including the game-clinching homer.
Junior transfer Katie Greenberg made her first appearance in the circle for the Thunderbirds, tossing two innings against Utah State. She allowed three runs on four hits before junior Ashley Ostler closed out the game with a scoreless fifth inning. Freshman Jordan Theurer (0-1) also got her first start for SUU and went 3.1 innings against BYU while surrendering seven runs on five hits.
Four different Cougars homered in the second game while freshman Ashley Thompson (1-0) earned the win by pitching all five innings. USU sophomore Noelle Johnson (1-0) recorded a complete game victory after striking out seven batters.
The Thunderbirds take to the field again tomorrow for a 4:00 p.m. matchup with Nevada. Game coverage will be available online at www.suutbirds.com.