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SUU softball needs wins, help for chance at title
by Tom Zulewski Iron County Today
May 01, 2017 | 684 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Southern Utah softball team wrapped up its 2017 Big Sky home schedule with Senior Day on April 22 at Kathryn Berg Field. For the second straight weekend, the T-Birds had a chance to complete a series sweep over the opposition for the first time all season.

And somehow, the visiting Sacramento State Hornets found a way to hang on by the proverbial stitch of a softball after posting a 13-11 victory. SUU won its third straight series, but their hopes of earning a Big Sky title and the right to host the postseason tournament are on life support at the moment.

The T-Birds have a 9-6 mark in conference play, the last of three teams – Weber State and Montana – with winning records. SUU heads on the road to finish the regular season and has to deal with the defending champion Wildcats first in a three-game set that starts with a doubleheader Friday.

The good news from the schedule is the T-Birds have won four of its five series in conference play. The bad: The only team SUU failed to beat is the Montana Grizzlies, who sit directly in front of them by two full games at 11-4.

Weber State is 11-3 in the Big Sky and holds a half-game lead over the Grizzlies heading into the in-state rivalry showdown. It’s imperative for the T-Birds that only a sweep will improve their chances at the crown.

Bad news, Part Deux: Weber State finishes its regular season at home against Montana. Even if SUU can somehow sweep in Ogden, they’d pretty much have to do the same at North Dakota in two weeks to keep hope alive.

Montana had won seven games in a row before falling at Portland State on Sunday, so it’s definitely possible.

-A sense of baseball déjà vu may be brewing over at Cedar High. The Redmen found a way to pull off a late-inning rally – story elsewhere on these pages – and beat Region 9 co-leader Desert Hills on April 20.

Just like a year ago, Cedar is 1-5 through the first six games of region play.

Last year, a late-inning win over the Thunder started a turnaround that led all the way to the 3A state title game for the second year in a row. The challenge to make the climb to the playoffs will be much harder this time around.

Cedar has to face Pine View – who beat them in the last two 3A title games – and Dixie twice to try and get over the hump. If the mood in the dugout last week was any indication, the Redmen are ready to embrace the task.

-Speaking of belief, the Canyon View boys soccer team is overflowing with confidence right now after they wrapped up another Region 12 title with a 3-0 home shutout over the Carbon Dinos. The Falcons have won 11 straight games and are worthy of attention that is steadily growing with each passing victory.

With two regular-season matches remaining – on the road at Richfield today, then at home against Juab on Friday – CV’s soccer success has reached heights not seen in the 12 years I’ve covered the school’s athletic programs.

After the Falcons face the No. 4 seed from Region 10 in the first round of the 3A playoffs, a win could set up a showdown with whoever the No. 2 seed from Region 9 is in the quarterfinals. Snow Canyon, Desert Hills and Dixie are in the middle of a three-way fight to determine their finishing order heading to the final week. The margin stood at three points between the three teams when play began Tuesday.

CV has already beaten both the Thunder (2-1 on the road March 14) and the Warriors (1-0 at home March 21). They’re also ranked No. 2 through April 16 by the Deseret News, so to brush the Falcons off now is no longer an option.

Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email tominator19@yahoo.com.

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