College roundup: Utes produce hits, just not enough runs, against Bruins

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 31 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

Dixon and Minnich each had two hits in the game, with Minnich knocking out a solo shot in the third inning, her school single-season record 12th home run of the year. The senior from Kennewick, Wash., also scored four runs during the two games to set a new single season for runs scored with 29, passing the previous record of 26.

Clark also had an RBI double, her eighth of the season, which is the fourth most in a single-season for the Wildcats.

Weber State (12-19, 1-1 PCSC) will wrap up its four-game series with Northern Colorado (16-16, 1-1 PCSC) on Sunday with a doubleheader, beginning at noon.

SUU SOFTBALL: At Cedar City, the T-Birds (20-14, 8-4 Summit) relied on the power of Mikkel Griffin on Saturday afternoon as the junior transfer accounted for two-thirds of their runs in a 9-6 victory over UMKC with three home runs.

"Heather (Black) didn't have her best stuff today," head coach Kyle Magnusson said of the SUU starting pitcher. "She continued to work through it, but with the type of day Mikkel had we were able to get this win today."

Griffin was a perfect 4-for-4 with home runs in the first, second and sixth innings. Her first home run of the contest tied the game at 1-1 after UMKC opened with an RBI single in the first.

Madison Resley broke the 1-1 deadlock a few batters later with an RBI single, also in the first inning, scoring Kelsey Bryant from second after collecting a single and moving to second on a UMKC error.

Griffin's second big fly of the game scored three in the second inning with the Thunderbirds taking a 5-1 lead. A third home run by a Southern Utah batter, this time by Haylee Hoch in the third inning increased the margin to five, 6-1. A trio of singles by Tessa Loewen, Griffin and Bryant in the fourth put the game at 7-1.

Southern Utah looked in control all game with the exception of the sixth inning when the Kangaroos cut the lead to one, 7-6, with five runs in the frame. The push chased Black from the circle after having thrown 52/3 innings where she allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts, eventually earning the win.

Danielle Axe came on in relief and a line drive to third baseman Kadi Henderson ended the UMKC rally and kept the T-Birds in the lead by one. Griffin capped her monstrous day with a two-run shot over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the inning, giving Southern Utah a three-run cushion and 9-6 lead.

Axe kept UMKC hitters at bay in the seventh, allowing only a single in the frame and striking out the final Kangaroo batter for her second save of the season.

The victory gave Southern Utah the series over UMKC with the Thunderbirds continuing a streak of taking each conference series at home this season.

SUU will be back in action next week with road games at Brigham Young University on Tuesday night and a Summit League series at IUPUI on Friday and Saturday.

UVU SOFTBALL: At Orem, Tiffany Mills and Cassie Herrera's complete game pitching gems were spoiled by Portland State as the Vikings won both games in their final at bats. PSU (13-14, 3-1 PCSC) took Game 1 3-2 in eight innings and Game 2 1-0.

The first game headed for extras tied at 2-all and Portland State's Becca Bliss drove home the winning run with a one-out double to right in the last of the eighth. PSU then won the second game with a leadoff walk-off homer by Karmen Holladay in the seventh.

"You can't win when you don't score. Today came down to adjustments and making plays. Portland State did both of them and we didn't do either," UVU head coach Todd Fairbourne said. "Herrera and Mills pitched their guts out. They definitely pitched well enough for us to win."

In Game 1, Amanda Perez broke a scoreless tie and got the Wolverines (20-10-1, 1-3 PCSC) into the hit column in the top of the third inning with a solo shot over the right center field wall. The home run was the fourth on the year for Perez and put UVU ahead 1-0.

Portland State looked to respond in the bottom half of the third, putting runners on second and third with just one out. But Mills got PSU's Alicia Fine to fly out to shallow centerfield then got Crysta Conn to pop out to first to get out of the jam.

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