March 11, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Utah State softball dropped its final two games of the Long Beach State Invitational. USU could not match the fire power of Cal State Fullerton in its first game of the day, as CSF defeated the Aggies, 13-4 in five innings. In its final game of the Long Beach State Invitational, Utah State fought hard against No. 16 UCLA, but found no traction offensively falling, 2-0 to the Bruins.
In the first game of the day, Utah State (8-13, 0-0) locked horns with Big West Conference foe, Cal State Fullerton. CSF jumped out to an early, 1-0, lead in the top of the first. The Aggies have now lost five-straight games.
USU responded in the bottom half of the inning when senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro delivered an RBI single to left field, scoring sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida from third. The inning ended with the score knotted at, 1-1.
The Titans exploded over the next three innings, scoring eight unanswered runs to take a commanding, 9-1 lead.
The Aggie did not go silently however, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth frame to keep within striking distance. Senior infielder Lindsey Marquez scored the first run in the bottom half, as freshman outfielder Hailey Froton doubled to right field, scoring Marquez from second. Sophomore infielder Allison Lenzora struck next for Utah State by driving a ball over to right center field, which allowed Froton to score from second. USU used to two-run fourth to cut the deficit, to 9-3.
Cal State Fullerton's offense could not be slowed however, as it scored four more runs in the top of the fifth, putting the game all but out of reach for the Aggies.
Utah State looked to respond in the bottom of the fifth frame as junior infielder Christine Thomsen doubled to right field, putting a running in scoring position. Sophomore outfielder Annie Thomas entered the game as a pitch runner for Thomsen who scored from second on a RBI single from Froton. The run driven in was Froton's second RBI of the day. The Titans neutralized any farther threats from USU to end the inning as well as the game, with a 13-4 lead. The game called at the end of the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule.
USU looked to rebound against No. 16 UCLA in its second game of the day. The Bruins struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the second frame to take an early, 1-0 lead.
The Aggies rallied around junior starting pitcher Shelbi Tyteca, tightening up defensively. Utah State did not commit an error on the day and held UCLA to only three hits. One of the hits allowed came in the bottom of the fourth frame as Samantha Camuso deposited a ball over the center field wall, giving the Bruins a, 2-0 lead.
The two-runs proved to be too much for USU to overcome as the Aggies were unable to gain offensive traction against the ranked opponent. Thomsen managed the lone hit against UCLA. Utah State falls to 0-3 against ranked opponents this season with an early season loss to then-No. 14 Georgia earlier this season in Athens and a loss to No. 24 North Carolina on Friday in the Long Beach State Invitational.
The Aggies conclude their time in sunny southern California with a pair of games on Monday, March 12. Utah State will face Ivy League foe, Harvard in the first game of the day. The game will be played at Loyola Marymount's field. First pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. (MT). Following action against Harvard, USU will take on host team, LMU at 2 p.m.
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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