LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State softball wrapped up the first weekend of home and Mountain West action with a loss Sunday, as it fell to UNLV, 8-5.
Junior catcher Brina Buttacavoli led the Aggie offense Sunday, as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles. Sophomore Katie Schroeder started the day in the circle, but was relieved by freshman Kellie White after just one out. Together, the pitching staff tallied six strikeouts while walking two batters.
UNLV didn't waste any time getting rolling Sunday, as the Rebels put up six runs in the top of the first. Between five hits, UNLV took the early lead and forced a quick pitching change for the Aggies. After leading off with a single and an RBI double, the Rebels added a walk and a single. With the bases loaded, a batter was hit by a pitch to score another run. A two-run single followed, bringing White to the circle for USU. Another single to center gave UNLV its final two runs of the inning, as it worked through its batting lineup.
The Aggies looked to respond in the bottom half of the inning, plating two runs. Junior third baseman Amee Aarhus was first on base on a Rebel error, advancing to third on a single from senior second baseman Victoria Saucedo. Senior shortstop Sarina Jaramilllo followed with a single, while all runners advanced on another error, getting Aarhus and Saucedo back home.
Utah State allowed just two hits off UNLV in the second and third innings, while the Aggies added a run in the bottom of the third. Saucedo led-off the inning with a single to left field, followed by a deep double from senior first baseman Paxton Provost. Freshman outfielder Riley Plogger grounded out, but earned the sac hit as Saucedo crossed the plate.
UNLV got back into the scoring action in the top of the fourth, as the Rebels opened the inning with back-to-back singles and a runner advancing on an error. With both runners in scoring position, a sac fly brought one home before the end of the inning.
The teams moved quickly through the fifth inning, with just one combined hit. Utah State then added its final two runs of the day in the bottom of the sixth. Plogger drew a walk to open the inning, followed by Buttacavoli's second double of the game. Senior designated player Sydney Hart then added a double of her own, swinging on the first pith and scoring both Plogger and Buttacavoli.
Errors plagued the Aggie defense in the top of the seventh, but the Rebels were able to score just one run. Utah State got one runner on base in the bottom of the inning, as Provost drew a walk, but a double play from UNLV ended the game.
UNLV had the hit advantage Sunday, with 10 to USU's nine. Utah State had six errors in the game, while the Rebels added two.
Utah State continues its homestand next week as it hosts in-state rival Utah Valley for a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 22. The Aggies and Wolverines will get things started at 1 p.m. USU will then return to conference play in a three-game series at Nevada over the weekend.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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