The Southern Utah University softball team played in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas DeMarini Desert Classic last weekend.
SUU’s first game was against San Jose State University. The first inning went smoothly for the T-Birds, as they did not allow a baserunner. Things changed in the second inning when the Spartans had six straight hits and scored five runs off sophomore starting pitcher Cheyenne Cudahy.
The T-Birds scored one run in the bottom half of the second inning when freshman Samantha Guerra hit an RBI single to left-center field that brought senior Karlee Manzione home. SJSU added three more runs in the third inning, taking a lofty 9-1 lead.
The Thunderbirds scored one more run in the fourth inning when sophomore Nicole Simonson hit a sacrifice fly to bring senior Morgan Leonard home. The Spartans tacked on two more runs to meet the run limit to end the game after five innings. The T-Birds lost, 11-2.
A couple of hours later, the Thunderbirds were back in action against in-state rival Utah State University. The T-Birds struck first when sophomore Kendall Kapitzke blasted a 3-0 pitch over the left field wall for her first home run of the year.
After a defensive battle, the Aggies ultimately came out on top, 3-1. Counting Kapitzke’s homer, the T-Birds only had two hits in the game.
The Thunderbirds went back at it again Sunday after having their games rained out on Saturday. They played against the Boise State University Broncos. The Broncos hit three home runs to score eight of their nine runs.
The Thunderbirds’ lone run in the game came when Guerra reached second base on an error, moved up to third base when junior Sarah Murphy hit a single and Guerra scored on a wild pitch.
Murphy was a bright spot in the game, going 2-3 with two singles and a stolen base. The Thunderbirds lost the game, 9-1.
In the final game of the tournament, SUU played a makeup game against the University of Nevada, Reno. Junior pitcher Haley Wall made her first start of the season.
Wall only allowed two hits; however, she only pitched one 1/3 innings as walks and errors allowed the UNR Wolf Pack to score five early runs. Senior Kirsten Hostetler pitched in relief of Wall and allowed four hits and one run in four 2/3 innings of work.
Simonson scored the only run for the T-Birds on an RBI fielder’s choice by sophomore Javlyn Weaver. Murphy added two more hits in the game and finished the day going 4-7.
The T-Birds will be back in action in the St. George Red Desert Classic hosted by SUU. The tournament starts on March 3 and wraps up on March 5 in St. George.
The Thunderbirds are scheduled to play five games against UNLV, Binghamton College, the University of Nebraska Omaha, the University of California, Santa Barbara and UNR.
The T-Birds played against UNLV last week and lost 0-4. They will be looking to do better in the next tournament as the season is getting into full swing.