You could have said you agreed with the OP in this thread
instead of starting a new one.
In case you care, JT512 prefers the approach of your girl (presuming it's done correctly of course) for sport-climbing with a gri-gri since he finds there's less risk of being short-roped on long clips.
Guessing that's not much of an issue for Devil's Lake though; sounds like a case of someone inappropriately transferring a technique to a different context, as others have suggested. Was her partner top-roping or trad-leading, and what was belay device? I'm guessing not sport-leading at Devil's Lake.
FWIW I was taught the thumbs-up method by a guide service for top-roping with Gri-Gri outdoors.