March 15, 2013
BOISE, Idaho - Utah State softball provided plenty of drama in a rematch with Boise State on Friday, as USU rallied to a 5-3 win in eight innings. It was the first extra innings ball game of the season for the Aggies as they move to 1-0 in extra inning games this season.
Utah State has now won three-straight games after a doubleheader sweep of in-state rival Weber State earlier this week.
Boise State took an early lead, taking advantage of a leadoff triple from Tara Glover who came in to score the early run for the Broncos on a pass ball.
Over the next several innings neither team could gain offensive traction as defense and pitching took hold through the middle innings, as neither team scored a run through the next four innings of play.
In the top of the sixth inning, USU looked to rally the offense late in the action as sophomore outfielder Jolene Koons delivered a one-out double to right-centerfield. Koons advanced to third on a ground out from junior infielder Kassandra Uchida, putting the tying run 60 feet from home plate.
Boise State chose to intentionally walk senior infielder Christine Thomsen, to put runnerson first and third with two outs for the Aggies who looked to sophomore infielder Nicole Arata to convert the two-out scoring threat. Arata answered the call with a bases-clearing double to push Utah State to a, 2-1, advantage.
Junior outfielder Rachael Hunsaker kept the offensive momentum rolling with a line drive through the right side of the infield that allowed Arata to score from second, adding to USU's lead, 3-1.
BSU would not go go quietly and put together a rally of its own in the bottom half of the sixth inning. The Broncos used a pair of doubles to score a single-run to pull themselves back within one of the Aggies.
Boise State fired up the offense once again in its final at bats of the game as Ashley Palmer delivered a one-out solo-home run to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Utah State delivered the first run of the extra inning in the top of the eighth as Uchida drove a ball to centerfield that was mishandled that allowed junior infielder Allison Lenzora to score from third, putting USU back on top, 4-3. Arata was credited with her third RBI of the day, as the sophomore drew a bases loaded one-out walk to extend the Aggies lead to, 5-3, heading into the bottom of the eighth frame.
Utah State used pitching and defense to closeout the game as senior pitcher Shelbi Tyteca earned her first win of the season and is now 1-1 this season. Starting pitcher, senior Mandy Harmon worked six and a third innings and allowed seven hits to go along with three strikeouts. USU has now won three games in a row and is currently 3-20 on the year.
Utah State continues action in the SpringHill Suites Invitational on Saturday with a pair of games. The first game of the day will be against border-foe Idaho State, action is set to get underway at 10 a.m. MT. The second game of the day will be against Portland State with first-pitch set to be delivered at 12 p.m. MT. Live stats will be provided for all of Saturdays action and the links will be available at www.utahstateaggies.com
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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