Feb. 10, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State softball faltered in its final game in the Red Desert Classic, as South Dakota gained control early in the action before USU mounted a late game rally that came up just short, falling 5-4.
The Aggies fall to 0-5 on the young season and will next see action in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The Coyotes offense wasted no time in setting the early tone as they were able to score three runs in the top of the opening frame. South Dakota added to its lead in the top of the second inning as it was able to plate another runner, pushing its lead to a, 4-0, advantage.
The Aggies answered back with a solo run in the bottom half of the second inning when sophomore outfielder Hailey Froton drew a walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Junior catcher Samantha Miller capitalized on the scoring threat by driving a ball to leftfield that scored Froton from second.
South Dakota scored its fifth and final run in the top of the fourth inning, extending its lead to a, 5-1 advantage.
Utah State once again put together a rally to threaten the Coyotes lead, as USU scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth frame to pull within two runs before being retired. Sophomore outfielder Nicole Arata started the inning with a walk which was followed by another walk to freshman infielder Libby Pederson to put a runner in scoring position. Freshman pitcher Noelle Johnson delivered when her team needed her with a two out double to centerfield that scored Arata and Pederson.
The Aggie looked to overcome the early deficit in their final at-bats of the game. With one out junior outfielder Rachael Hunsaker lifted a single into rightfield and advanced to second when junior infielder Kassandra Uchida put a ball in play that was not fielded cleanly by the Coyotes second baseman. Arata followed with a single to leftfield, allowing Hunsaker to score and pull Utah State within a run of South Dakota, 5-4.
USU added to the late-game scoring threat as Froton drew a walk to load the bases with two outs but could not complete the come-from-behind victory as the Aggies committed the final out of the game. Utah State produced six hits in Sunday's game, as well as a season-best four runs. USU starting senior pitcher Mandy Harmon was charged with Sunday's loss and falls to 0-3 on the season.
The Aggies will next see action on Feb. 15, as they once again travel south to take part in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. Utah State will open its five-game set in the Invitational with a bout against Big 10 foe Purdue.
Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
Utah State Softball Ends...
Fighting off bad weather and struggling to find its offensive power, Utah State softball ended...05/17/2017
Three Aggie Softball...
Three Utah State softball players have earned all-Mountain West accolades, announced by the...05/17/2017
USU Softball Opens...
Utah State softball put an emphatic end on its five-game losing streak Tuesday, as it opened the ...05/16/2017
Utah State Softball Begins ...
Utah State softball (32-16, 14-9 MW) continues its season this week in the first round of the...05/15/2017
Utah State Softball Accepts...
Making its first postseason appearance since 1993, Utah State softball has accepted an invitation...05/14/2017
Senior Class Proud of the...
Sydney Hart, Paxton Provost and Victoria Saucedo have played their full four years as Aggies,...05/11/2017
Utah State Softball Ends...
In the final game of the 2017 regular season, Utah State softball dropped a 4-1 road decision at ...05/09/2017
USU Softball Closing...
Utah State (32-15, 14-9 MW) will play its final game of the 2017 regular season this week, as it ...05/08/2017
Official Aggie Gear