Softball roundup: Utah Valley falls to No. 20 Hawaii

Published: Sunday, Feb. 17 2013 11:25 p.m. MST

DRAKE 7, SUU 2: At Tucson Ariz., Southern Utah (2-8) concluded play at the Hillenbrand Invitational with a 7-2 defeat against Drake (6-4) on Sunday.

The T-Birds finished 1-4 at the tournament after falling to the Bulldogs, Purdue, Arizona and Nebraska while picking up their second win of the season over Utah State.

The matchup with Drake went back-and-forth early on as the Bulldogs scored in their first at bat when junior infielder Amy Pierce reached home an on errant throw. The Thunderbirds got the run back in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI double to right center off the bat of Kelsey Bryant. SUU took a 2-1 advantage in the following frame as Cora Cordova drove in

Therysa Dyer from for the go-ahead run.

Drake came back to even the score in the top of the third and went on to add two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead. The Bulldogs added three insurance runs in the sixth as Nybo picked up her third RBI of the day and held off the T-Birds down the stretch.

SUU pitcher Ariel Zimmerman (1-5) suffered her second loss of the week after giving up four runs on four hits over five innings. Ashley Ostler allowed three runs on three hits during one inning in the circle and Danielle Axe closed out the game with a perfect frame in the seventh. Rebekah Schmidt (2-3) earned the in win relief for DU after striking out five batters in six scoreless innings.

Bryant's RBI in the first inning brings her total to a team best mark of eight so far this season. The senior also leads SUU with a .406 batting average and four doubles.

The Thunderbirds are off next week but will return to the field March 1-3 at the Libby Matson Tournament in Stockton, Calif. Southern Utah will face San Jose State and Pacific on Friday, before meeting up with Nevada on Saturday. Coverage of the games is available at www.suutbirds.com.

ARIZONA 13, UTAH STATE 1: At Tucson, Ariz., Utah State closed out weekend action in the Hillendbrand Invitational with a five-inning loss against host and No. 16-ranked Arizona on Sunday. The Wildcats used several big innings to earn the win, including an eight run third.

Junior outfielder Rachael Hunsaker went 1-2 on the day against the high-powered Arizona pitching staff, including a RBI double in the top of the third inning that scored junior catcher Kelsi Webster.

Utah State used three pitchers, including freshman starter Noelle Johnson, who surrendered five runs to the hard-hitting Wildcats and was charged with the loss. Johnson is now 0-4 on the season.

The Aggies fell to 0-10 on the season after two weeks of tournament action.

Utah State will look forward this next weekend's action in Texas as the team travels to Austin for the Texas Invitational. The Longhorns will host the tournament and action is set to start on Friday for USU as it opens with a matchup against Lamar.

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