POCATELLO, Idaho - Kadi Henderson and Lyndsey Healey both had a pair of RBIs to lead Southern Utah to a 5-2 victory over Sacramento State on the first day of the Big Sky Conference Softball Tournament Thursday afternoon at Miller Ranch Stadium.
Despite the loss, the Hornets (24-20) are still alive in the four-team, double-elimination tournament, but will now have to work their way out of the loser's bracket. The Hornets play again tomorrow against No. 4 seed Northern Colorado at noon PDT. The loser of that game is eliminated from the tournament while the winner will have to turn around and play again at 3 p.m. PDT. Northern Colorado (20-33) fell to No. 1 seed and tournament host Idaho State (33-18) by a 3-2 score earlier today.
Entering today's game, Sacramento State had won five straight games against conference competition. The Hornets qualified as the No. 2 seed for the tournament after going 12-4 in league play and finishing just out of first place in the Big Sky standings. In tomorrow's winner's bracket game, Idaho State will take on Southern Utah (21-28) at 9 a.m. PDT.
Tomorrow's slate of games are in jeopardy as there is a 70 percent chance of rain with 25 mile per hour wind gusts in the forecast.
Southern Utah never trailed in today's game, scoring three times in the third inning and twice more in the top of the seventh after the Hornets had cut the deficit to 3-2. The Thunderbirds tallied six hits and three runs against Caitlin Brooks, who lasted just four innings. It marked the shortest outing of the season for Brooks, who was a unanimous choice as the Big Sky's Pitcher of the Year.
In fact, entering the day, Brooks had gone at least six innings in every start and had thrown complete games in 13 of her 14 starts. The three runs allowed tied for the second most she has given up all year.
Each of the Thunderbirds' three runs in the third inning came with two outs. Henderson began the scoring by lacing a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall to give Southern Utah a 2-0 lead. Three pitches later, Madison Resley went yard, giving Southern Utah back-to-back homers and a 3-0 lead. Brooks had given up four home runs all year prior to today.
Sacramento State cut into the lead with a run in the fourth inning on a Sasha Margulies sacrifice fly, and later added another in the fifth inning when Nicole Clark singled home Yesenia Alcala.
With the score, 3-2, in the top of the seventh inning, Southern Utah came up with yet another big two-out hit, this time a two-run double from Healey which scored runners from first and third base. That was more than enough run support for Southern Utah reliever Katie Greenberg who picked up the save and allowed just one hit in 2.2 innings. Ariel Hart (9-9) got the win after working the first 4.1 innings.
Brooks (9-6) took the loss, allowing six hits and three runs with three walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Right-hander Taylor Stroud worked the final three innings. Stroud retired the first seven batters she faced before issuing a walk, two hits and two runs in the seventh.
Sacramento State had just five hits and failed to draw a walk for the first time in 25 games and just the third time all season. Paige Martin, Kortney Solis, Sasha Margulies, Alcala and Clark had the Hornets' hits, including doubles from Martin and Alcala.
NOTES -- Sacramento State won two of three games at Northern Colorado earlier this year…in order to win the conference championship out of the loser's bracket, the Hornets will need to win four straight games, beginning tomorrow against the Bears.
April 25, 2014 SOFTBALL SWEEPS WEBER STATE, NOW 12-4 IN CONFERENCE PLAY
April 24, 2014 SOFTBALL TO PLAY HUGE THREE-GAME SERIES AT WEBER STATE
April 23, 2014 SOFTBALL FALLS TO CAL IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE GAME
April 17, 2014 SOFTBALL PLAYS ITS FINAL REGULAR SEASON HOME GAMES THIS WEEK
April 11, 2014 SOFTBALL SPLITS A DOUBLEHEADER AT IDAHO STATE
April 8, 2014 MARGULIES LEADS SOFTBALL TO 9-5 VICTORY AT PACIFIC
March 28, 2014 SOFTBALL SPLITS HOME DOUBLEHEADER WITH SOUTHERN UTAH
March 26, 2014 SOFTBALL’S GAME TODAY AT CAL POSTPONED BECAUSE OF RAIN
March 24, 2014 YERBY RECIPIENT OF BIG SKY PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS
March 22, 2014 SOFTBALL COMPLETES 3-GAME SWEEP OF NORTH DAKOTA WITH 9-0 WIN
March 12, 2014 SOFTBALL DROPS A PAIR OF GAMES AT NEVADA
March 11, 2014 LINDY WINKLER’S #3 TO BE RETIRED BY SOFTBALL ON SATURDAY
March 9, 2014 SOFTBALL CONCLUDES TOURNAMENT WITH 6-2 LOSS TO CAL POLY
March 4, 2014 SOFTBALL WINS ITS HOME OPENER OVER UC DAVIS, 5-0
March 3, 2014 SOFTBALL TO PLAY HOME OPENER TUESDAY VS. UC DAVIS
February 27, 2014 WINNERS OF FIVE OF THE LAST SEVEN, SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO MORAGA THIS WEEK
February 25, 2014 BROOKS EARNS BIG SKY SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
February 23, 2014 BROOKS’ SHUTOUT AND 7-RUN INNING LEAD SOFTBALL TO 7-0 WIN VS. SAN DIEGO
February 22, 2014 STROUD’S GEM LEADS SOFTBALL TO SPLIT IN SECOND DAY OF BRONCO CLASSIC
February 21, 2014 BROOKS’ 10 STRIKEOUTS LEADS SOFTBALL TO 3-1 WIN OVER SANTA CLARA
February 20, 2014 SOFTBALL PLAYS FOUR GAMES OVER THREE DAYS IN SANTA CLARA
February 16, 2014 SOFTBALL STRANDS 10 RUNNERS IN 1-0 LOSS TO UC RIVERSIDE
February 15, 2014 SOFTBALL POUNDS OUT 11 RUNS AND 15 HITS IN VICTORY OVER CSU BAKERSFIELD
February 15, 2014 SOFTBALL MERCY RULES UC RIVERSIDE, 9-1
February 14, 2014 DEFENSE HURTS SOFTBALL IN 3-2 EXTRA INNING LOSS TO UC SANTA BARBARA
February 14, 2014 SOFTBALL FALLS AT FRESNO STATE, 5-1
February 12, 2014 SOFTBALL DROPS SEASON OPENER AT UC DAVIS, 1-0
February 11, 2014 SOFTBALL OPENS SEASON WEDNESDAY AT UC DAVIS
February 5, 2014 2014 SOFTBALL SEASON OUTLOOK
January 23, 2014 SOFTBALL TO GET A FRESH LOOK IN 2014
January 22, 2014 SOFTBALL AND SOCCER RECEIVE NEW SCOREBOARDS
January 15, 2014 SOFTBALL SELECTED SECOND IN THE BIG SKY PRESEASON COACHES POLL
November 15, 2013 SOFTBALL SIGNS LOCAL PRODUCTS HINTON, MALIGAD AND MARTIN
November 5, 2013 2014 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE RELEASED
October 18, 2013 BLAIR AND HARTMAN BOTH RECIPIENTS OF NFCA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE ACCOLADES
August 28, 2013 WILLIS AND KAMINAKA HIRED AS SOFTBALL ASSISTANT COACHES
August 14, 2013 LORI PEREZ NAMED INTERIM HEAD SOFTBALL COACH