March 12, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Utah State softball recorded 15 hits in two games on Monday but could not keep pace with its opponents, falling to Harvard, 9-5, and LMU, 5-1. Harvard struck early against USU, scoring three runs in the first two innings and held the lead to defeat the Aggies. LMU used a first-inning outburst, scoring four runs to beat Utah State in the second game of the day.
In the first game of the day Utah State (8-15, 0-0) was defeated by Ivy League foe, Harvard, 9-5. USU surrendered 14 hits to the Crimson, which they converted into nine runs. Sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida went 3-for-4 at the plate, but her offensive spark was not enough against Harvard. The loss pushed the Aggie losing streak to six games.
Harvard scored the first-three runs on the game, scoring one in the first inning and two in the second, to take an early, 3-0 lead.
The Aggies responded in the top of the third inning with a lead-off double by Uchida who advanced to third and was brought home when senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro forced the action with a grounder to the second baseman that was mishandled, allowing Uchida to score the first run of the game for Utah State.
The Crimson added to their lead in the bottom of the third frame, scoring three runs, taking a 6-1 lead into the fourth inning.
USU scored again in the bottom of the fourth as sophomore catcher Samantha Miller hit a grounder back to the pitcher that scored freshman outfielder Amburlyn Orozco. The Aggies struck again in the top half of the fifth frame as Kaneshiro belted a lead-off home run to cut into the Crimson lead, 6-3. It was Kaneshiro's second long ball of the season, tying her with senior infielder Lindsey Marquez and Uchida for the most home runs this season.
Harvard stretched its lead back out in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on two hits to take a 8-3 advantage.
Utah State looked to rally late in the game as Uchida would once again deliver a hit, getting the lead-off runner on base. Uchida advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved over to third on a grounder to second by sophomore outfielder Annie Thomas. Junior infielder Christine Thomsen converted on the opportunity by crushing a ball to deep right field for an RBI triple. Thomsen's triple was only the second triple of the season for USU, as freshman utility player Jolene Koons hit a triple in February. Thomsen came in to score on a ball that got past the catcher, putting the Aggies back within three-runs, 8-5.
The Crimson added to its lead in the bottom of the sixth, pushing their lead back to a four run advantage. The lead would prove to be to much for Utah State to overcome as Harvard held on for the win.
In the second game of the day for USU, Loyola Marymount used a first-inning outbreak, scoring four runs in the first frame to separate from the Aggies. The Lions starting pitcher Molly Medeiros bent, giving up seven hits, but would not break as she only allowed one run in the top of the third inning to Uchida, who sent a ball over the fence in right center field. Medeiros did not falter from there on out and stifled the Utah State offense from that point on.
Uchida batted 2-for-3 in the match-up against LMU, with one run and one RBI. For the day, she went 5-for-7 at the plate, scoring three runs and one RBI. Uchida's home run on Monday was her second of the season and ties her for first on the team.
USU will next see action in the SpringHill Suites Invitational in Boise, Idaho. The Aggies will open action on Friday, March 16 against host team Boise State, first pitch is set for 4 p.m. (MT). Utah State will also play games against Portland State, Minnesota and border-foe Idaho State.
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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