Aggies take on New Mexico State in season home opener.
USU prepares for Utes before opening conference action.
Following Wednesday's action, USU heads to Boise for SpringHill Suites Invitational.
Aggies head to San Diego Classic this weekend.
Weekly Utah State softball notes
Utah State Softball vs. Texas State
Utah State Softball vs. Utah
Utah State Softball vs. BYU
Utah State Softball vs. New Mexico State
Utah State Softball vs. Hawai'i
Entering her fourth year as Utah State's head coach, Carissa Kalaba (Cal-uh-ba) is optimistic that the 2013 season will be a sign of things to come as USU returns eight starters and and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 17-36 overall, including a 4-17 Western Athletic Conference mark to finish eighth in the league standings. Highlighting those eight returning starters is senior infielder Christine Thomsen and sophomore outfielder Hailey Froton who were both named to the league's 2013 preseason all-WAC team.
During the 2012 campaign, Kalaba coached just the seventh All-American in school history in Thomsen, who was one of 31 players nationally to be named an Easton All-American, including one of 16 players on the second-team. Thomsen, who also earned first-team all-WAC honors as a junior, finished the season tying for first in the WAC and 26th in the nation with a .418 batting average, which ranks second all-time in school history.
Kalaba also coached USU's career saves leader in 2012 as junior Shelbi Tyteca recorded a school-record five saves during the season to give her nine career saves, which ranks first all-time in school history.
Along with its success on the field, Utah State also excelled in the classroom under Kalaba in 2012 as five Aggies earned academic all-WAC honors.
In 2011, Utah State posted a 15-42 overall record, but went 8-13 in WAC play and qualified for the WAC Tournament for just the second time in its six years in the league as it finished fifth overall. Those eight league wins were USU's most since the 2002 season when it was a member of the Big West Conference, while its fifth-place finish was its best since tying for fourth in the Big West in 1996. On the field, Utah State finished the year with 66 doubles to rank third all-time in school history for a single-season.
Utah State also had three players earn second-team all-WAC honors in 2011 in Tina Ferguson (C), Allison Lenzora (SS) and Kassandra Uchida (UT). Utah State also had 10 players earn academic all-conference honors, including Shasta Tyteca, who garnered first-team academic all-district honors.
During her first season at Utah State in 2010, the Aggies posted a 20-30 record for its most wins in six years. USU also hit .274 that season to rank tied for the fourth-best hitting percentage in school history. Utah State also set a single-season school record with 34 home runs in 2010, while its 200 runs batted in ranked second all-time at USU and its 217 runs scored ranked third all-time. On the mound, Aggie pitchers combined for a 4.92 earned run average to rank as USU's second-best ERA in eight years. Academically, USU had eight players earn all-conference honors in Kalaba's first year at USU, while Nicole Rupp-Tindall earned first-team all-WAC honors as an outfielder.
Kalaba's Coaching File 2005-09 - Biola University Head Coach 2002-09 - Jets Gold 18U Team Head Coach 2000-04- Arcadia High School Head Coach
Playing Experience 1996-97 - Hofstra 1998-99 - UCLA
Kalaba Tidbits -- After transferring from Hofstra University, Kalaba played two seasons at UCLA where the Bruins won the WCWS title in 1999.
-- During her tenure at Biola, she compiled an overall record of 143-93 (.606 winning percentage), averaging just under 29 wins per year.
-- Her husband, Joe, was an assistant coach for her at Biola.
-- She had three players earn all-GSAC honors this season, as well as two GSAC scholar-athletes.
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