Feb. 20, 2012
ST. GEORGE, Utah - Utah State softball was defeated by Beehive State-foe Southern Utah in both games of Monday's doubleheader. SUU defeated USU, 9-3 in the first game and 7-2 in the second game. The games were played in St. George due to weather conditions in Cedar City, Utah. The Thunderbirds overpowered USU with their offense, by tallying 20 hits in the two games.
Utah State jumped out to an early lead in its first game of the day against Southern Utah when junior infielder Christine Thomsen and senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro hit back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the second inning. In USU's next at-bat of the inning, senior infielder Lindsey Marquez laid down a perfect bunt and was able to leg-out the throw to first for a single, which loaded the bases for junior designated player, Kali Cancelosi, who plated Thomsen with a high fly ball to right field. Kaneshiro raced home to score the second run of the inning when SUU had a misque on the throw from the outfield, giving the visiting team an early 2-0 lead.
The Thunderbirds would respond in the bottom of the fourth inning by scoring three runs to take over the lead by putting together two hits and putting pressure on the Aggie defense. Southern Utah would add to the deficit by scoring two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, to take a 5-2 advantage into the final two innings of play.
Marquez looked to spark a late-game rally for Utah State when she launched a solo-home run to left-center field to pull USU back within two-runs. This was Marquez's first home run of the season and was the fourth home run in as many days for the Aggies. SUU's defense would not allow another run to cross the plate in the inning and would take a 5-3 advantage into the bottom of the sixth.
Southern Utah would put the game out of reach for Utah State when it added four more runs in the bottom half of the sixth frame to stretch it's lead out to, 9-3. USU could not regain momentum and would be held scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to end the ball game.
The Aggie looked to respond in the second game of the day and started with sophomore outfielder Christina Cummings singling up the middle with one out in the first, to give Utah State it's first base runner of the game. Cummings stole second base to put a runner in scoring position for Thomsen at the plate. Thomsen drove in the sophomore with a single she laced up the middle to bring Cummings around from second.
SUU would react in the bottom half of the inning with a run of its own and added two more in the second inning as well as another run in the third, to take a, 4-1 lead. The Thunderbirds defense would hold the USU offense in check and did not allow another run to score through the sixth inning.
Southern Utah would once again use a late offensive outburst to increase its lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth frame, sparked by a two-run home run from Kelsey Bryant.
Sophomore catcher Samantha Miller looked to create a seventh-inning rally with a one-out double to left-center field. Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton came in to pinch run for Miller and scored when sophomor outfielder Kassandra Uchida knocked a dribbler to the short stop that was mishandled. SUU's defense would not break however and would close out the Aggies to end the inning and secure the, 7-2 win.
Utah State will not take the field again until March 2, as the team will pack it's bags and head for sunny San Diego, Calif. to play in the San Diego Classic (March 2-4). Four of USU's five games in the San Diego Classic will be against California teams (San Diego, Long Beach State, Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge). The lone outlying team not from California, is St. Joeseph's, who the Aggies will play Sunday, March 4.
Fans can follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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