After giving up three straight hits to start the game, freshman pitcher Miranda Kramer retired the last 21 to come to the plate, as the Mastodons scored once in the first and twice more in the fifth as the Mastodons won in the Summit Tournament First Round for the first time since joining the league.
Kramer struck out six and scattered three hits and gave up two runs, both on a two-run home run from the 2012 Summit League Player of the Year.
The squad will face off against game one victor North Dakota State, who got a one-hitter from Summit League Pitcher of the Year Krista Menke.
The win was also he 100th in head coach Amy Tudor's tenure at IPFW. With the win the Mastodons improve to 43-12, while Southern Utah falls to 29-24.
The 'Dons found themselves in a quick 2-0 hole as the Thunderbirds got a leadoff single from Tessa Loewen, before Mikkel Griffin hit a two-run home run to left field, giving the visitors on the scoreboard a 2-0 advantage. Southern Utah shortstop Kelsey Bryant followed with a single; however, was the final Thunderbird batter to reach base in the game.
IPFW countered with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Larissa Franklin reached on an error, before Brittany Kachur reached when she was hit by a pitch. A strikeout followed, before Ashleigh Bousquet flew out to right field, allowing Franklin to advance to third. A batter later Courtney Cronin singled to left field, scoring Franklin, and cutting the deficit in half at 2-1.
After a quick second inning, the Mastodons threatened in the bottom of the third when Kachur drew a one-out walk, before Alex Bousquet proceeded to hit the ball into the gap in left center field, chasing home Kachur; however, the first base umpire called Kachur out on the play for leaving first base early, adding an out to the board, and putting Bousquet back at the plate, where she flew out to left field.
In the fifth inning, Kayti Hanson led off the inning with an infield single, before being sacrificed over to second by Jessica Haskins. Franklin followed with a single along the left field line putting runners on the corners, before Kachur laid down a successful sacrifice squeeze, scoring Hanson. A batter later Alex Bousquet singled to right field, pushing home Franklin, and giving IPFW a 3-2 advantage.
The one-run advantage was more than enough, as Kramer shut down the Thunderbirds in order in each of the final six innings of the contest.
The Mastodons will see their first-pitch of the second round of the tournament come at 4 p.m today at the Missouri 3&2 Field.