Thunderbirds Headed to Big Sky Championship Tournament
CEDAR CITY, Utah - For the fifth straight year since joining the Big Sky conference, the Southern Utah softball team is headed to the Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament. Hosted by regular season champions Weber State, the Thunderbirds will enter the tournament as the fourth seed after finishing conference play with a 10-11 record.
Previously on T-Bird Softball
The Thunderbirds wrapped up the 2017 regular season last weekend in Grand Forks, North Dakota. They were only able to pick up one win in a three-game series with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
In their game two win on Friday, the Thunderbirds set a new season high for hits in a game with 18 total hits in the 8-5 victory. It also marked the second time this season that every player in the starting lineup had at least one hit in the game. Hanna Wynn picked up the win in game two, starting in the circle for the Thunderbirds and working all seven innings while giving up just nine hits.
Nicole Simonson continued her success at the plate, picking up at least one hit in all three games and pushing her hitting streak to 14 games. Megan Reed finished the series against UND six for nine and will go into the tournament holding the ninth highest batting average in the conference(.353).
Southern Utah Tournament History
With this season's tournament bid, the Thunderbirds have now made the Big Sky tournament for five straight seasons dating back to 2013. Southern Utah won the tournament in 2014, defeating Idaho State 8-5 in the second game of the championship, and were runners-up in 2013, losing to Portland State 4-0.
Last year the Thunderbirds entered the tournament as the fifth seed, but were not able to progress after losing to Montana 10-6 and Sacramento State 17-0.
Senior Megan Reed holds the tournament record for highest batting average, hitting .667 in 2016 and assistant coach Kylee Wolf holds the records for most home runs in a game(2) and most total bases in a game(9), both coming in 2014 against Idaho State. Southern Utah also holds the record for the highest slugging percentage in the tournament, as former Thunderbird Kadi Henderson slugged 1.538 in the 2014 tournament.
The fourth-seeded Thunderbirds will square off against fifth-seeded North Dakota in the first game of the tournament on Thursday May 11th. First pitch is set for 9:30 a.m. at the Wildcat Softball Complex in Ogden. If the Thunderbirds defeat UND they will play again at 2:30 p.m. against the host Wildcats. If the Fighting Hawks emerge victorious, the Thunderbirds will have to wait until Friday to redeem themselves, as they will play the loser of game four at noon on the 12th. All games will be streamed on watchbigsky.com and links to live stats will be available at suutbirds.com.
Stay Up to DateTo 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.