Utah State Softball Edged by Grand Canyon, 5-3, on Day Two of the Red Desert Classic Friday
Feb. 7, 2014
ST. GEORGE, Utah - Despite a three-run third inning, the Utah State softball team came up short against Grand Canyon, 5-3, on day two of the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah on Friday.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 1-2 this season, while Grand Canyon improves to 1-1.
"Overall, we are a work in progress. Every situation is something new. We have to be able to learn from every situation. We continue to have high energy and great attitude in every game. When we do that, we play really well. We just have to be consistent and learn to the play with different expectations," USU head coach Steve Johnson said.
Grand Canyon struck first in the top of the second inning. Camree Wartman started the inning with a one-out double to center. She then moved to third on an infield single. The Lopes took the early 1-0 lead when Wartman crossed the plate after a Haley Walker ground out.
The Lopes took a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning. With two on and one out, Lauren Regester delivered a three-run home run over the left centerfield fence to give Grand Canyon the 4-0 advantage. Sophomore pitcher Noelle Johnson came in and relieved freshman starting pitcher Cheyenne Harper and recorded her second strikeout to end the GCU threat.
Utah State got three runs back in the bottom of the third inning. Freshman first baseman Paxton Provost started the rally, reaching on an error by Lopes' second baseman Nicole Newbury. Provost then moved to second after a groundout by senior outfielder Rachael Tuckett. Junior outfielder Hailey Froton drove home the first USU run of the game with a sacrifice hit that scored Provost. Senior second baseman Allison Lenzora brought home the second USU run with a double that plated Sarah Chow. Senior designated player Samantha Larsen cut the Grand Canyon lead to 4-3 with single to center that scored Lenzora.
"We fought hard in the bottom of the third inning and were able string some hits together. Everything is new for us, and we have to be consistent at the plate. We have to give pitchers runs to work with, and we didn't do that," Johnson said.
Grand Canyon added another run in the top of the fourth to stretch its lead to 5-3. Johnson was once again able to use the strikeout to end the threat.
In her first collegiate appearance in the circle, Harper took the loss (0-1), pitching 2.0 innings. Johnson finished the game, going five innings and allowing two runs, only one of which was earned.
The Aggies are back in action for day three of the Red Desert Classic on Saturday, Feb. 8. On Saturday, USU faces both East Carolina and UT Arlington at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively, and conclude the first tournament of the season against Omaha on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Live stats will be available for all games this week by going to www.reddesertclassic.com.
Fans can keep up with all of the Aggie softball action at www.utahstateaggies.com. Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUSoftball, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUSoftball.