CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University softball will wrap up the 2012 regular season this weekend with a three-game series at North Dakota State. The games will have a major impact on the Summit League standings with several teams playing for a regular season conference title, including the Thunderbirds.
The Bison are currently first in the Summit League with a conference mark of 16-5, but Southern Utah and IPFW are just behind with conference records of 14-7. A series sweep by SUU would jump the T-Birds ahead of NDSU in the standings and a give them a shot at the title, but a series sweep by IPFW over South Dakota would mean a title for the Mastodons as IPFW holds the tie breaker over SUU.
In addition to a regular season title race, the final weekend in the Summit League will also have implications on tournament seeding with five teams vying for four tournament spots. North Dakota State is the only team that is a lock for the tournament, but three losses by IPFW, SUU, Western Illinois and a trio of victories by South Dakota could put the Coyotes in and bump teams above them out.
Southern Utah will look to its bats to power it through the final weekend with the team leading the Summit League with a .313 average at the plate. The T-Birds also boast two of the top three individual batters in the league in Mikkel Griffin (1st, .426) and Terysa Dyer (3rd, .379).
Heather Black will also be relied upon in the circle for victories this weekend with the senior leading the team in wins (18), innings pitched (181.0), ERA (2.78) and strikeouts (132) this season. Black will enter the series unbeaten in her last four conference appearances, including three consecutive wins over South Dakota State in her last league starts.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (MT) with the series finale on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (MT). Fans can follow each of the games via live stat links online at www.suutbirds.com for free or watch the games online at www.gobison.com for a fee.
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