HENDERSON, Nev. -
Utah State softball wrapped up play at the Marucci Desert Classic, Saturday, splitting games against Buffalo and Hawai'i. The Aggies defeated the Bulls, 15-10, but fell to the Rainbow Wahine, 3-1.
Junior catcher Bailey Lewis led the Aggie offense Saturday, picking up her first hits of the season. Lewis hit .750 (6-for-8) on the day, including one double. As a team, the Aggies tallied seven extra-base hits with four doubles and three home runs. Senior pitcher Jordyn McCracken threw the entirety of both games, striking out six batters and walking two. Junior first baseman Bailee Trapp finished the day with 26 defensive putouts.
With the split, Utah State ends the weekend with an overall record of 3-6.
The marathon game against Buffalo started early, as the Aggies took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Freshman outfielder Leah Molina was first on base with a single and a stolen base, before the Buffalo pitcher dealt four-straight walks to bring two runs in. After a pitching change, Lewis doubled to left field, giving senior third baseman Amee Aarhus and senior designated player Brina Buttacavoli time to cross the plate. Freshman shortstop Joely Williamson looked to join in the scoring, but was thrown out at home.
The Aggies went on to add another four runs before Buffalo was able to answer. Trapp scored in the top of the second, making it home on a sac fly from sophomore outfielder Riley Plogger. In the top of the third, Aarhus doubled to left center, scoring when Lewis hit a single and both runners were able to advance on a throwing error by Buffalo. Aarhus scored again in the fourth inning, getting on base with a single and advancing to second on a wild pitch. Williamson batted Aarhus in with a single through the left side, and scored herself on a single from Lewis.
Buffalo was able to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run home run. The Aggies quickly answered with another three runs in the top of the fifth. Senior outfielder Jazmin Clarke led-off with a single, followed by a hit from Molina, while both players gained a base on the throw. Plogger then doubled to center, where Clarke scored, but Molina was thrown out at home. Plogger scored on a sac fly from Aarhus, while junior Mia Maher scored as a pinch runner on a single from Williamson. The Buffalo offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth, putting up seven runs and bringing the score within one.
Luckily, the Aggies weren't done yet, as the offense went on to add another four runs to the total. Lewis picked up her fourth hit of the game with a single up the middle to open the sixth inning. Trapp followed with a single and both runners advanced when Clarke grounded out. Plogger came up big again, blasting a home run over the right field fence. Aarhus hit her first-career home run in the top of the seventh, and Buffalo was unable to make up the difference.
In the game, Utah State out-hit Buffalo, 19-15, but had two errors to the Bulls' one.
The second game of the day had an entirely different feel, as it turned into a defensive battle. The Aggies retired the first six batters in the Hawai'i lineup, adding a single of their own in between. Utah State had at least one hit in each inning, but wasn't able to score until the bottom of the fifth. Trapp hit her first home run of the season to put the Aggies on the board.
That lead didn't last long though, as Hawai'i answered in the top of the sixth. With one runner on from a walk, a double brought her in to tie the score. The Rainbow Wahine then took the lead in the top of the seventh with a two-run double. The Aggies got two runners on in the bottom of the seventh as they looked to rally, but the game ended with a strikeout.
Utah State had eight hits to Hawai'i's five, while both teams had one error each.
The Aggies will return to action next weekend in a tournament hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. There, Utah State will play two games each against the host Islanders and Texas Southern, as well as a single contest against Omaha.
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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