SUU Strategic Communications

Thunderbirds Prepare for Final Home Series

April 20, 2017
By SUU Strategic Communication

Related Links

CEDAR CITY, Utah - Two teams coming off losses to ranked opponents will match up this weekend as the Southern Utah softball team will host the Sacramento State Hornets for their final home series of the 2017 season.

Previously on T-Bird Softball

The Thunderbirds are coming off of a 4-0 loss to the No. 19/21 BYU Cougars in Provo Wednesday night. The defense shined in the loss as freshman Samantha Guile allowed just five hits in her 6.1 innings of work and Emilee Sweet and Sarah Murphy made run-saving plays to keep the game close. Nicole Simonson was the only Thunderbird to reach base twice in the game, drawing a walk in the first inning and leading off the seventh with a double to right center.

The team will now be able to focus solely on Big Sky play as Wednesday’s matchup was the final non-conference game of the season for the Thunderbirds. Southern Utah currently sits in third place in the Big Sky with a 7-5 record in conference play. They have won four of their last six conference games and have only lost one series so far this season.

Senior Day

This Saturday will be the final home game for five Thunderbird seniors. Payton Hart, Kirsten Hostetler, Morgan Leonard, Karlee Manzione, and Megan Reed will take to Kathryn Berg Field as Thunderbirds for the last time.

All five seniors have been consistent contributors since joining the Thunderbirds and will be hard to replace in the starting lineup. Between the five of them, they have made a combined 142 starts this season and 199 last season. Manzione led the team in batting average last season with a .357 in 84 at-bats and Reed has taken over this season hitting .344 in 90 at-bats. Leonard has only missed three games in her two years behind the plate for the Thunderbirds and Hart holds a perfect fielding percentage this season, catching everything that comes her way in left field.

Hostetler is the lone pitcher of the group and her absence will not go unnoticed in the circle. She has made 40 appearances in two seasons compiling 143.2 innings and 37 strikeouts during that time.

The seniors will be honored with a special ceremony set to take place after Saturday’s series finale with the Hornets.

Scouting Report: Sacramento State Hornets

The Hornets will come into the weekend with a 14-23-1 overall record and a 4-7 Big Sky record so far in 2017. They are fresh off a 2-0 loss to No. 22 California on Wednesday in Sacramento.

The Hornets hold just the sixth highest batting average in the Big Sky(.252), but have hit the second most home runs in the conference with 30. Their pitching staff can be found at the top of the conference in ERA(3.16) and opponent batting average(.259) and they are third in the Big Sky with 193 strikeouts. Suzy Brookshire and Zamari Hinton lead the team offensively with a .345 batting average in 119 at-bats. Brookshire has scored 31 times and has hit 10 home runs in her freshman campaign.

The last time these two teams matched up the Hornets swept the Thunderbirds in a three-game series in the Golden State.

Current Big Sky 2017 Softball Standings

Team

Big Sky

Overall

Montana

9-3

24-19

Weber State

8-3

24-14-1

Southern Utah

7-5

11-23

North Dakota

5-6

19-25

Idaho State

5-6

12-19

Sacramento State

4-7

14-23-1

Northern Colorado

4-8

16-30

Portland State

4-8

6-29

First Pitch

First pitch for Friday’s doubleheader is set for 12:00 p.m. with the second game following roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first. Saturday’s senior day game is also set to begin at 12:00 p.m. Links to live stats and live video are available at suutbirds.com.

Stay Up to Date

To stay up to date during the games and throughout the 2017 season follow @SUUSoftball on Twitter and Instagram and like the SUU Softball page on Facebook.