Big Sky Tournament Brackets
CEDAR CITY, Utah -- Southern Utah scored four times in the first inning, and held on late in a 7-5 victory over Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon at Kathryn Berg Field. The game was the regular season finale for both teams and had a huge impact on seeding for next week's Big Sky Conference Tournament in Ogden, Utah.
The winner of today's game would clinch the No. 2 seed for the double elimination Big Sky Tournament, and Southern Utah (18-28, 10-8) will now get that important bye. Sacramento State (14-25, 8-10) will be the No. 3 seed and play No. 6 Montana on Thursday at 11 a.m. PT. The winner of that game will play later Thursday at 4:30 p.m. PT vs. Southern Utah.
After Weber State (15-3) and Southern Utah (10-8) in the conference standings was a four way tie between Montana, Sacramento State, Northern Colorado and Portland State who are all 8-10. The Hornets secured the No. 3 seed based on having the best record among those teams (6-3) when they played each other. Northern Colorado is the No. 4 seed and Portland State the No. 5 seed.
After the Hornets won the first game of the series yesterday in mercy rule fashion, Southern Utah was able to take the next two. Sacramento State needed to win just one of those final two games to get the 2 seed, but could not accomplish the feat.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Carley Morfey's two-out, RBI-single scored Lewa Day from third base. However, Southern Utah pounced on Hornet starting pitcher Morfey for four runs in the first inning, which included a pair of two-run homers by Brooke Brown and Josey White.
The Thunderbirds tacked on one more in the third, and two in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. Sacramento State, which stranded eight runners on base during the game, scored four times in the sixth to make things interesting.
A pinch hit two-run single from Rylee Gresham was followed by an RBI-double from Alondra Mejia and an RBI groundout from Morfey. That cut the Sacramento State deficit to 7-5, but Southern Utah reliever Tyler Denhart retired the final two batters of the sixth, and the side in order in the seventh to preserve the Thunderbird win.
Alyssa Nunez was effective in relief, entering the game with one out in the first inning. She would go the rest of the way, allowing three runs and six hits in 5.2 innings. Payton Goodrich (7-10) got the win after lasting 5.1 innings while Denhart earned her third save.
Day, who had four home runs and 10 RBIs in yesterday's doubleheader, was intentionally walked three times today. She got on base via error in the first inning, and amazingly, reached base safely in all 12 plate appearances during the three-game series.That included five intentional walks, four home runs and two singles.
Gresham, Mejia, Morfey, Alexis Parish, Haley Hanson and Charizma Guzman each had one hit. Both Parish and Hanson have four-game hitting streaks.
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