FULLERTON, Calif. -
Utah State softball closed its weekend at the Cal State Fullerton-hosted Titan Classic Sunday, in an 11-5 loss to Rutgers.
Senior third baseman Amee Aarhus was the top hitter for the Aggies Sunday, as she went 2-for-2 at the plate and was walked and hit by a pitch once each. Three pitchers saw time in the circle in the game. Freshman Delaney Hull made the start, throwing 2.1 innings before being relieved by sophomore Kellie White. After 3.0 innings, senior Jordyn McCracken entered the game. Together, the pitching staff struck out five batters and walked seven.
Utah State ends its opening weekend with a 2-3 record.
For the first of the weekend's five games, Utah State was the home team against Rutgers. Hull made quick work of the first inning, allowing one walk, but adding a strikeout and a defensive stop. The Aggies had their first hit in the bottom of the inning, a single from freshman outfielder Leah Molina.
Rutgers was first to score, taking a 3-0 lead by the end of the third inning. After one out, a double started things off for the Scarlet Knights. A USU error put another runner on, with both advancing on a stolen base. A line drive provided enough time for a runner to make it home on a line drive to center field. Rutgers continued to build its lead in the third with a two-run home run.
The Aggie offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth, tying the score at three. Aarhus was hit by a pitch, while freshman designated player Joely Williamson followed with a single to shortstop. After one out, senior catcher Brina Buttacavoli hit her first home run of the season, clearing the bases.
Utah State continued its scoring ways in the bottom of the fifth, taking its first lead of the day. Senior outfielder Jazmin Clarke led-off with a single, stealing second during the next at-bat. Aarhus walked, while Williamson reached base on a dropped third strike to load the bases. Pinch hitting, freshman Kennedy Hira earned her first-career hit with a single through the left side, bringing two runs across.
Rutgers quickly fought back in the sixth inning, scoring six runs on five hits and two Utah State errors. The Aggies tried to answer in the bottom of the inning, but left two runners stranded. The Scarlet Knights added two last runs in the top of the seventh off two singles and a double. Aarhus hit one last single for USU in the bottom of the seventh, but the game ended on a double play.
Utah State will continue its season next weekend at the UNLV-hosted Marucci Desert Classic. There, the Aggies will take on FIU (2-4) and Seattle (3-2) on Friday, Feb. 16, followed by a doubleheader against Buffalo (1-3) and Hawai'i (4-0) on Saturday, Feb. 17. The tournament will conclude with a game against Bradley (2-2) on Sunday, Feb. 18
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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