Senior infielder Meagan Neilson and sophomore Kylee Wolf each reached base for SUU in the top of the first inning and came around to score on an RBI double off the bat of Kadi Henderson to make the count 2-0. The Highlanders evened things up in the bottom half of the inning with a run-scoring triple from Karina Romero and a ground out RBI for Natalie Sanchez.
UC Riverside took the lead with an RBI single in the following frame and then extended its advantage with another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Thunderbirds looked poised to make a late rally after getting two runners on in both the sixth and seventh innings, but UCR held them off to come out on top 5-2.
Junior pitcher Alyssa Razo (-) went all seven inning for the Highlanders, recording nine strikeouts and allowing two earned runs. Ariel Hart (0-3) got the start for Southern Utah and was charged with all five runs after pitching the first five innings. Junior Ashley Ostler tossed the final two frames, striking out three batters and giving up just one hit.
Romero posted two hits, two RBI and scored a pair of runs for UC Riverside. Henderson provided the T-Birds’ only two scores of the day with her first double of the season.
Up next for the Thunderbirds is a trip to Arizona for an appearance at the Grand Canyon University Invitational in Phoenix. SUU will face both Nevada and tournament host GCU three times apiece between this coming Thursday and Sunday. Coverage of the games is available online at www.suutbirds.com.