March 2, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Utah State softball continued action in the San Diego Classic on Saturday as it lost a pair of games to future Mountain West Conference opponents San Diego State and Fresno State. USU dropped the first game of the day against SDSU, 4-1, and was defeated in the final game of the night, 9-6, by Fresno State.
An offensive onslaught broke out in the final game of the day as the Aggies took on the Bulldogs. Fresno State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, plating its four runs on three hits.
Utah State responded in the top of the third inning with a three-run outbreak of its own, powered by sophomore outfielder Nicole Arata's two-run homer.
Sophomore outfielder Amburlyn Orozco kick started the offense with a hard hit ball to third base that was mishandled. Orozco worked her way to third on a single from junior infielder Kassandra Uchida and Orozco came in to score on a field choice from senior infielder Christine Thomsen.
With Thomsen on first, Arata connected with a pitch and drove it over the left field fence to pull her team within a run, 4-3. It was Arata's first career long ball, she is also one of three players who a homerun this season for USU.
The Aggies took their first lead of the game in the top of the fifth inning as they were able to score three runs for the second time in an inning, taking a 6-4 advantage late in the action. Utah State applied the pressure with back-to-back singles from Koons and Uchida.
Fresno State pitchers struggle to find the strike zone, allowing three runs to score without a ball being put into play after the two lead-off singles.
The Bulldogs refused to be silenced however, as they were able to regain the lead with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 advantage into the final two frames.
The score held for Fresno State as it was able to silence USU in its final two at-bats. Freshman pitcher Noelle Johnson was collared with the loss and falls to 0-6 this season, while her squad also slides to 0-19.
In the opening game of the day, the Aggies surrendered three runs in the first inning to the Aztecs. Utah State could not gain any momentum against San Diego State starting pitcher Danielle O'Toole who worked six innings and surrendered a single run to the USU offense.
The Aggies solo run came in the bottom of the sixth inning when sophomore outfielder Jolene Koons reached on a well hit ball that was mishandled in the SDSU infield. Koons capitalized on the miscue as she advanced to second, stole third and scored on a throwing error.
Starting in the circle against Aztecs was senior Mandy Harmon who allowed three runs on nine hits. The senior was charged with her 12th loss of season for an 0-12 overall record.
Utah State concludes action in the San Diego Classic on Sunday with a bout against Boise State. First pitch is set to be delivered at 10 a.m. (MT). Fan can follow Sunday's action through the LiveStats link provided on the www.utahstateaggies.com home page.
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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