FRESNO, Calif., Feb. 15 – Southern Utah (1-7) dropped its first two outings at the Fresno State Kick-Off on Saturday. The Thunderbirds were blanked by UC Santa Barbara (6-2) in a 4-0 defeat before being edged 2-0 by the hosting Bulldogs (6-2).
UCSB senior Andrianna Collins (1-1) tossed all seven frames to earn her first win of the year. The SUU batters went in order every inning except for the bottom of the sixth when Katie Greenberg drove a leadoff single into left for the Thunderbirds lone hit of the game.
The Gauchos took the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the second when freshman Emily Brucelas hit a ball to deep centerfield for an RBI triple and then reached home on a base knock by Jessica Reichner. They added another score in the third and set the final margin at 4-0 as Stacy Cavazos crossed the plate in the last inning on Southern Utah’s fourth error of the game.
Freshman Jordan Theurer (1-2) threw the first five innings for the T-Birds and allowed just two earned runs on eight hits before being replaced in the circle for the final two frames by Ashley Ostler.
Southern Utah got the bats going early in its second outing as outfielders Sara Park and Kylee Wolf led off the game with back-to-back singles. Sophomore pitcher Jill Compton (4-1) was able to record two straight outs for Fresno State from there and Brenna Moss gunned down Park at home after a hit by Terysa Dyer to keep the Thunderbirds off the scoreboard.
Neither side was able to put up a run until bottom of the sixth when Bulldog third baseman Vonnie Martin pulled a home run down the left field line with a runner on second to put the home team in front 2-0.
SUU threatened in the seventh after shortstop Kelli Hales reached base on single to centerfield, but a pop out and a ground out sealed the win for Fresno State.
Ariel Hart (0-2) tossed all six innings in the late game, giving up two runs and striking out two batters. Dyer and Park each finished with two hits on the day.
The Thunderbirds finish up the tournament Sunday morning as they take on UC Riverside at 10:00 a.m. (MT) Coverage of SUU softball is available online at www.suutbirds.com.