CEDAR CITY, Utah- Stephen F. Austin split the doubleheader against Southern Utah today, winning the first game 12-0 and losing the second game 10-8. SFA moves to 16-15 (5-3 WAC) while SUU moves to 5-18 (2-6 WAC).
Brooke Gainous was on the mound for the ‘Jacks and started the game with a three up, three down first inning to keep the game scoreless. SFA got on the board in the second inning after Mackenzie Bennett hit a double, Mikaelah Burkland hit a single, and Kelby Robbins was hit by a pitch to load up the bases Sydney Carithers. Carithers reached on a fielder’s choice as Bennett was out at home. Mallory Webb stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Webb hit a hard ball to the shortstop who was unable to make a throw as everyone was safe and Burland crossed home plate for the first run of the game, 1-0. Middlebrook lines a single up the middle to score Kelby and Carithers to extend the ‘Jacks lead, 3-0. The next offensive explosion came in the top of the fourth inning as SFA scored six runs. It all began with a sacrifice fly from Middlebrook which scored Emily Berryhill, 4-0. Lexi Benson then reached first on an error by the left fielder which allowed Mallory Webb to score, 5-0. Bennett steps up to the plate and smokes a single through the left side to bring the lead up to six. Gaby Garcia steps into the box with runners on first and second with one out. Garcia blasts a three-run home run to right field to put the ‘Jacks up 9-0. In the fifth, three straight singles from Carithers, Webb, and Middlebrook scored the tenth run of the game. Sydnee Hebert hit another single up the middle past the outstretched shortstop to score Webb and Middlebrook and SFA run rules SUU, 12-0.Hebert led the team with three hits, followed by five other ‘Jacks who each recorded two. Middlebrook recorded four RBIs, followed by Garcia with three. Gainous recorded her sixth win of the season and her fifth complete game. She allowed three hits, no runs and struck out two batters.
Alexis Telford started on the mound for SFA in the second game. The ‘Jacks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off the bats of Bennett, who hit an RBI single, and Garcia who slammed her second three-run home run of the day. Middlebrook continued her impressive day at the plate with a solo home run to extend the lead, 5-0. Southern Utah cut the lead down to two after scoring three in the bottom of the second. In the third, Garcia stepped up to the plate looking to do some more damage, and she does just that by hitting her third home run of the day with a solo shot to straight away center, 6-3. The Thunderbirds scored one run in the bottom of the third, three in the fourth, and one in the fifth to take an 8-6 lead. SFA made the game interesting in the sixth inning after Carithers reached on an error, and Webb hit a single with Middlebrook up to bat. The SUU catcher was unable to keep a pitch in front of her which allowed Carithers to score and Webb to move up to third. The catcher tried to catch Webb at third, but threw the ball away and Webb was able to score and tie the game up at eight. SUU took back the lead when they scored two in the sixth inning as they won the game 10-8.
Garcia led the team with three hits, two of them home runs, followed by Bennett and Robbins who each recorded two. Garcia also accounted for four of the ‘Jacks runs, while Bennett and Middlebrook drove in the other two runs. Telford pitched 3.2 innings, allowed eight hits and seven runs. Gainous recorded the loss in this game as she pitched 1.1 innings, allowed three hits and two runs.
The Lumberjacks will be back for the final game of the series Saturday, April 1st at 1:00 p.m.