Feb. 27, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the sixth time this season, the Utah State softball team played a ranked team when the Aggies lost to host and No. 8-ranked Arizona State, 9-0, in five innings. The Aggies dropped its first game of the Diamond Devil Invitational to Southern Utah at Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., 9-3.
"We played some of the worst ball that we have played all season. We didn't perform at the level that we are capable of, but tomorrow is a new day. We will be ready to play tomorrow," head coach Candi Letts said.
With the pair of losses, USU falls to 3-9. The Aggies are now 0-6 in the games against ranked opponents. USU has faced three teams ranked in the top 10, Arizona State, Stanford and Washington.
In the first game of the day, Southern Utah started the scoring in the first inning getting a run off a sacrifice bunt. The Thunderbirds added to their lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings.
The Aggies staged a comeback in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Trailing 3-0, the Aggies were able to load the bases with two outs and junior Emily Reilly at the plate. Reilly hit a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. The hit scored two runs and cut the Thunderbird lead to 3-1.
The game remained close until the top of the seventh when the Thunderbirds were able to explode for six runs on four hits. With the score 9-2 the Aggies tried to make a run in their half of the seventh but were only able to plate one run.
In the nightcap, the defending Women's College World Series champion Sun Devils, scored in the bottom of the first inning with a trio of runs off of senior pitcher Lindsey Benson. Kaitlin Cochran started the rally with a walk and followed with a stolen base. After a Katelyn Boyd walk, Ashley Muenz singled to right to drive in Cochran. Two more runs crossed the plate on a Krista Donnenwirth single to give Arizona State an early 3-0 lead.
ASU added five more runs in the third inning to increase its lead to 8-0. Munez drove in two runs with a home run to center. The final three runs of the inning also game via the long ball when Renee Welty homered to left center. The Sun Devils would add one more run in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the 9-0 lead.
The Aggies lone hit came off the bat of junior Simone Hubbard when she singled in the top of the fourth. Hubbard would also walk. Two other USU players reached base via the bases on balls, freshman Gina Rawls and senior Aubrie Stroman.
Benson took the loss and is now 0-5.
Utah State returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 28, taking on Northern Colorado at 9 a.m. MT and South Alabama at 1 p.m. The Aggies defeated the Bears, 8-2, earlier this season. This is the first meeting between South Alabama and USU.
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