Thunderbirds Complete Day Two of Red Desert Classic
ST GEORGE, Utah - The Southern Utah softball team continued play in the St. George Red Desert Classic Saturday with games against the University of Nebraska Omaha and UC Santa Barbara.
Game One: Nebraska Omaha 11, SUU 0
After a strong start to the weekend on day one, day two got off to a rough start as the Thunderbirds were shut out by the Mavericks.
The Mavericks scored one or more runs in every inning, except for the third, including four runs in the first inning on five hits off of starting Thunderbird pitcher Cheyenne Cudahy. Cudahy pitched four innings in the loss, giving up 13 hits and seven earned runs while striking out two.
Pitching and defense aren’t the only places the Thunderbirds struggled in game one. As a team they were only able to put together two hits the entire game, a Nicole Simonson single in the third and a Megan Reed single in the fifth.
When all was said and done the Mavericks had compiled 16 hits and 11 runs in just five innings, effectively ending the game after the Thunderbirds failed to score in the fifth.
Game Two: UC Santa Barbara 5, SUU 3
Things turned around for the Thunderbirds in game two against the Gauchos. A Sarah Murphy leadoff walk and a Payton Hart swinging bunt single gave Karlee Manzione an opportunity to get the T-Birds on the board with just one out in the first inning. With the count in her favor, Manzione hit a rocket over the left field fence for her first home run of the season. The three-run blast gave the Thunderbirds a 3-0 advantage early in the ballgame.
The Gauchos answered back immediately with a blast of their own in the bottom of the first. Sierra Altmeyer put a ball over the fence in left center for a two-run shot that cut the Thunderbird lead to just one. UCSB tied the game in the second inning on a Jacqueline Hinojosa RBI single to left field off of starting pitcher Samantha Guile.
The Thunderbird bats seemed to go cold after the first inning with the only other offense coming in the third and sixth innings. They would not be able to capitalize on the early lead as the Gauchos scored two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings and eventually went on to win the game by a score of 5-3.
Guile pitched five innings in the loss giving up five hits, three earned runs, and striking out two Gauchos. Kirsten Hostetler pitched one inning of relief giving up just two hits and one run.
“I don’t think we were at all mentally sharp in the first game, but I am proud of the way we came back and played hard and together in the second game,” head coach Tom Gray said. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The Thunderbirds will wrap up play in the Red Desert Classic tomorrow afternoon against the Nevada Wolf Pack. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m.
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