March 13, 2013
OGDEN, Utah - - Utah State softball swept a pair of games Wednesday against in-state rival Weber State for the Aggies' first pair of wins this season. USU rallied behind their pitching and offense to dispatch WSU in the opening game, 2-1 and followed it up again in the second matchup of the day, with an offensive outbreak as the Aggies downed the Wildcats, 11-3.
USU gained momentum from senior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon in Wednesday's opening game, as the senior delivered a complete-game and allowed only two hits from the circle to lead Utah State to its first win of the season.
The Aggie offense jumped to the aid of Harmon as they built an early lead by putting together three hits to score two runs in the top of the third inning. Junior infielder Allison Lenzora started the action in the third by drawing a one out walk, which was followed with a double by sophomore Amburlyn Orozco to left center field to put two runners in scoring position for Utah State.
Sophomore outfielder Jolene Koons drove a fly ball to left field that allowed Lenzora to score from third on the sacrifice fly. USU scored its final run of the game and the second of the inning on a single up the middle from junior infielder Kassandra Uchida.
The Aggies' two-run lead was tested late by the Weber State offense, as the Wildcats scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. WSU threatened again in the bottom of the final frame, as it was able to put a runner on second with two outs. Harmon battled hard and forced a groundout to end the scoring threat and preserve the 2-1 victory for Utah State.
Harmon notched her first win of the season and is now 1-13 on the season.
In the second game of the day, USU erupted for a season-best 11 runs on 13 hits. The Aggies set the pace early as they scored four runs in the top of the first inning. Utah State fired up the offense again in the top of the third, scoring four more runs to take control of the game with an 8-0 advantage.
The Wildcats scored their first run of the game against freshman starting pitcher Noelle Johnson in the bottom of the third. Johnson put together a strong performance in the circle, going five innings and allowing only three hits and two runs. Johnson was credited with her first win of the season and is now 1-6 on the year.
The Aggies' 11 runs were the most scored in a game since scoring 11 against Western Athletic Conference foe Louisiana Tech on May 7, 2011. It was also its second year in a row of beating Weber State by a large run deficit, as Utah State defeated WSU, 10-3, April 11, 2012 in Logan. It is USU's largest margin of victory since blasting Long Beach State, 10-1, on March 2, 2012.
USU, who improved to 2-20, will be back in action on Friday, March 15 as it travels to Boise, Idaho for the SpringHill Suites Invitational hosted by Boise State. The Aggies will play a five-game set in the three days of action, leading off with a rematch with future-Mountain West Conference foe Boise State. Fans can follow all of this weekend's action at www.utahstateaggies.com.
Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, athttps://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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