College roundup: BYU softball takes 2 at San Diego Classic

Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 2 2012 9:00 p.m. MST

Mikkel Griffin accounted for the Thunderbird run in the top of the fourth as the junior tallied her fourth home run of the year. Dyer and Haylee Hoch then swapped bases at second after the duo knocked back-to-back doubles for Southern Utah's run in the top of the fifth.

Despite the blip in the second, SUU starter Heather Black kept Spartan bats at bay during the game with SJSU getting a runner in scoring position only one more time in the game with runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth. The senior earned the victory after throwing a complete game where she allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Black also recorded a save in Game 2 as the Thunderbirds used small-ball philosophy to get the victory.

The teams answered tit-for-tat in the second game as a Thunderbird run in the third was echoed by a Spartan run in the home half of the inning. The same held true in the fifth as an RBI double by Griffin was answered with an SJSU run on a T-Bird error in the bottom of the frame.

The pattern was finally broken in the top of the sixth when Resley recorded an RBI single to right center to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead. Both of Southern Utah's runs in the fifth and sixth were set up by sacrifice bunts executed by Tessa Loewen and Hoch.

Southern Utah punctuated its scoring on the day with a two-run single by Henderson in the top of the seventh that extended the Thunderbird lead to 5-2. Black then came in at the top of the seventh to close out the game, despite some nail-biting moments in the final half-inning. Some clutch two-out hitting by San Jose pulled the game to within one, 5-4, before a final ground ball ended the game in the Thunderbirds' favor.

Freshman Ashley Ostler earned the victory in the circle for Southern Utah, coming on in relief and throwing 2.0 innings where she allowed one run (not earned) on two hits.

Southern Utah will return to the diamond tomorrow, facing Santa Clara at 10 a.m. and San Jose State in the series finale at 12:15 p.m. The Thunderbirds will wrap up the road trip with a single game against Santa Clara, Sunday morning at 11 a.m.

UTAH 11, UAB 0, SUSP., RAIN: At Birmingham, Ala., Behind a solid performance on the mound from Joe Pond and 13 hits at the plate, the Utah baseball team took an 11-0 lead on UAB before the game was suspended entering the bottom of the ninth due to rain.

The game will be finished on Saturday before Game 2 of the series at 1 p.m. MT. Inclement weather is expected in the Birmingham area. Please check UtahUtes.com for any updates.

The Utes scored runs in six innings. Ethan Leiter was 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI while Shaun Cooper and Trey Nielsen each had three hits.

Pond pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing just three hits and one walk.

"Joe Pond really pitched well in tough conditions today, with hard winds blowing to right field," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "He really did an outstanding job of getting quick innings, keeping his pitch count low, and keeping them off-balance. We also spread our offense out a little. Cooper, Trey and Leiter have struggled to start the season and they all did really well today."

Utah took an early lead with a four-run second inning. Cooper and Nielsen led off the inning with back-to-back hits before a single from Leiter drove in Cooper for the first run of the game. That was followed by a three-run home run by Josh Alexander to give Utah a 4-0 lead.

The Utes continued to pull away from there. Utah scored two runs in the top of the fourth, which included an RBI double from James Brooks, then added another run in the fifth with a solo homer from Cooper to give Utah a 7-0 lead.

Two runs came in the seventh inning, as Cooper scored on an error after a one-out single, and Leiter drove in Nielsen for a run. Nielsen had an RBI single in the eighth to send home Parker Morin, who singled to reach base earlier in the inning.

Mitch Watrous pitched the eighth inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout.

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