From SUU ATHLETICS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
CEDAR CITY- The Southern Utah softball team will host the North Dakota Fighting Hawks for a three-game series starting this Friday April 6.
Last weekend the Thunderbirds were in Greeley, Colorado for a three-game series with the Northern Colorado Bears. They scored 23 runs in the series, but were only able to come away with one win, taking game two by a score of 9-4.
Taylei Williams had a good weekend in Greeley, hitting .600 (6-10) with two home runs, six RBIs, and five runs scored. The freshman also added a stolen base and a sacrifice fly in game two. Sarah Murphy hit .556 (5-9) two RBIs, four runs scored, and a home run of her own in game three.
Big Sky Player of the Week
Kalei Watkins was named Softball Player of the Week by the Big Sky Conference for her performance against Northern Colorado last weekend.
Watkins hit .600 (6-10) with three home runs, six RBIs, and five runs scored during the series with the Bears. The freshman went 3-4 in the series finale on Saturday with two home runs.
Watkins also started two games in the circle for the Thunderbirds pitching a total of 9.2 innings. In game two, she pitched her third complete game of the season giving up just three earned runs on seven hits while striking out three Bears.
Her three home runs this weekend has moved Watkins into a tie for third in the Big Sky in home runs on the season with seven total. She also ranks fifth in the conference in slugging percentage with a .633.
Scouting Report: North Dakota Fighting Hawks (19-18, 5-1 BSC)
After dropping their Big Sky opener to Portland State, the Fighting Hawks have won five straight games, including a sweep of Montana last weekend, to move into the top spot in the conference.
During their sweep of the Grizzlies, UND only allowed one run in three games, shutting Montana out in games one and three. Kaylin VanDomelen leads the Fighting Hawks and the Big Sky Conference in the circle with a 2.25 ERA and 139 strikeouts. The senior recently became the only pitcher in the Big Sky to ever pass the 500 career strikeout mark with 518.
Last season the Thunderbirds and the Fighting Hawks matched up four times including a first round game in the Big Sky Conference Championship tournament where Southern Utah won 7-6 on a walk-off triple from Sarah Murphy.
Friday’s doubleheader is set to start at 1 p.m. at Kathryn Berg Field. The second game will follow about 35 minutes after the conclusion of the first. Saturday’s series finale is also set for 1 p.m.