SUU swept three games from North Dakota this past weekend to maintain a narrow edge over Idaho State (28-16, 9-3 Big Sky) atop the Big Sky standings. The two conference leaders will meet in a critical series this weekend, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Seniors Kadi Henderson and Madison Resley lead the Thunderbirds with 30 RBI and six home runs apiece. Sophomore Kylee Wolf is third in the Big Sky with a .385 batting average. Senior Ariel Hart anchors the SUU pitching staff with a record of 7-6 on a 5.09 ERA. The T-Birds’ .296 batting average and .376 on-base percentage both rank second in the conference.
Live stats and coverage for the games are available online at www.suutbirds.com.
Utah took two-of-three from Stanford over the weekend to improve to 5-12 in the Pac-12 Conference. Junior infielder Kate Dickman has collected 30 RBI this year with 13 doubles and a .417 batting average while freshman Anissa Urtiz leads the Utes with 35 runs driven in and is hitting .328. The team bats .307 as a group with a pitching staff that holds a 4.67 ERA. Kayce Nieto has started the bulk of the schedule and is 9-11 in the circle with a 4.93 ERA. Amy Hogue is in her sixth season as the head coach of her alma mater. The Thunderbirds dropped both of their meetings with the Utes last season.
Utah Valley won its first three games as a member of WAC, but has struggled since, most recently losing series to UMKC and Grand Canyon. Freshman Hailey Kofler leads the team with a .314 batting average and five home runs while Josi Summers has gone 7-14 in the circle on a 4.49 ERA. The Wolverines are hitting .247 at the plate and hold an overall ERA of 4.69. This is Nikki Palmer’s first season as the head coach at Utah Valley. UVU will visit Utah on Monday afternoon, prior to hosting SUU on Tuesday.
Following its weekend series with Idaho State, Southern Utah will end the season with three games at Northern Colorado on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3. The Big Sky Conference Tournament is scheduled to begin the following weekend, and will be hosted by the regular season champion.
BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Southern Utah’s Meagan Neilson was named the Softball Player of the Week by the Big Sky Conference on April 7 after batting 4-8 for a .500 average during a three-game sweep of Portland State. She posted a 1.125 slugging percentage against the Vikings after hitting her third home run of the year, along with a pair of doubles for a total of 6 RBI.
Southern Utah’s Madison Resley was named the Softball Player of the Week by the Big Sky Conference on Feb. 25 after batting 8-16 for a .500 average as Southern Utah picked up a pair of wins over Nevada and Grand Canyon at the GCU Invitational. The Salina, Kan. native hit two home runs in Phoenix to post a .875 slugging percentage to go along with a .579 obp.