FOUR-RUN SEVENTH SPARKS SOUTHERN UTAH TO 5-4 VICTORY OVER SOFTBALL
HENDERSON, Nev. -- Marci Pratt’s three-run homer sparked a four-run seventh inning as Southern Utah defeated Sacramento State, 5-4, in the fourth round of the Louisville Slugger Softball Desert Classic Saturday evening.
Melissa Cross’ two-run single in the top of the seventh gave the Hornets what looked like a comfortable three-run lead entering the last half of the inning, but the Thunderbirds scored four runs after one out had been recorded.
After Sacramento State starter Kayla Meeks picked up the first out of the seventh, pinch hitter Trish Clapham walked and Monique Gaastra followed with a single. That set up Pratt’s line drive over the center field wall which tied the game at 4-4. After a double from Cassie Cresswell, Lindi Kennedy followed with a walkoff double that scored Cresswell with the winning run.
With the victory, Southern Utah improved to 3-4. The Hornets, who have lost three in a row and six of their last seven, dropped to 3-6 with the loss. Four of those six losses during the seven-game stretch have come against teams that were ranked among the nation’s top 12 squads.
The Thunderbirds scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run from Pratt. The Hornets quickly responded with two in the sixth on a two-run double from Rachel Miles, and tacked on two more on Cross’ base hit in the seventh. Pratt finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs.
Six different Hornets had at least one hit, including sophomore Jamie Schloredt’s 3-for-4 performance. Schloredt is now batting a team-high .519 with 14 hits in 27 at-bats. Miles finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and the two RBIs for Cross were her first of the season.
Meeks (1-3) picked up the loss, allowing five runs and 11 hits in 6.1 innings. She also struck out 10 batters while allowing just one walk. Southern Utah’s Kristina Brooks (1-4) got the win, giving up four runs and nine hits over seven innings.
Sacramento State returns to action tomorrow to face Cal State Fullerton in the fifth and final round of the tournament at 11:30 a.m.