CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University softball completed a Summit League sweep of South Dakota State on Saturday morning, picking up the 7-0 victory. The win moves the Thunderbirds to 28-19 overall and 14-7 in conference play. SDSU drops to 10-25-1 and 4-14 with the loss.
Southern Utah opened the game with a 1-0 lead after scoring in the bottom of the first with the run originating on a Mikkel Griffin triple. Griffin moved home a batter later when Kelsey Bryant hit a sacrifice fly ball to center.
The Thunderbird offense slowed over the next few innings, but South Dakota State was also unable to score over the same span despite having runners at third in the second and fourth. Each scoring opportunity was thwarted by Heather Black striking out the final batter in the frame as the senior ended all but the third with an inning-ending whiff.
Southern Utah batters found their groove again in the bottom of the fifth, recording six runs on six hits and an SDSU error. Kadi Henderson began the push with a lead-off home run with the next five batters also getting safely on base via a walk, an error and three consecutive singles. Tessa Loewen and Mikkel Griffin earned RBI with Terysa Dyer also collecting three on a bases clearing double that capped Southern Utah's scoring in the frame. SUU left runners on the corners when the final out was recorded, keeping the T-Birds from collecting their third run-rule victory of the weekend.
Black earned her third victory of the series in the circle, throwing the complete game where she shutout the Jackrabbits and allowed only four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Southern Utah will wrap up its home slate next week when the Thunderbirds host Brigham Young University in a doubleheader at Kathryn Berg Field on Tuesday afternoon. Fans can follow the games via a live stat link that is anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.