March 29, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - For the second-straight game, the Utah State softball team was stymied by Fresno State pitching as the Bulldogs shut out the Aggies 8-0 in five innings Saturday at Bulldog Diamond.
"Fresno State has been well prepared for Noelle (Johnson) and put the ball in play both games. Right now we're not reacting to adversity well," USU head coach Steve Johnson said. "Defensively, we're on a slippery slope from bad to worse. Noelle gives up a hit or two; we get tight defensively and make a mistake then Noelle tries to do it all and misses and around we go. This was the first game all season where we made a number of mental errors and got exposed. Tomorrow we'll see what kind of pride and fight we have after a loss like this."
With the loss, the Aggies fall to 13-16 overall and 3-2 in MW games. Utah State has now dropped three-straight games. Fresno State improves to 18-12 overall and 3-2 in league contests.
Fresno State continued its hot hitting, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Brooke Ortiz started the rally with a one-out single and promptly stole second. Michelle Solomon drove home Ortiz with a single to left, moving to second on the throw home. Stesha Brazil plated the second run of the inning with another single through the left side that brought home Solomon to give the Bulldogs the early 2-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs ran the bases well again in the bottom of the second to manufacture another run to take a 3-0 lead. Paige Gumz reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Brenna Moss single to center.
Fresno State broke it open with three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up on the Aggies 6-0. Freshman pitcher Abby Indreland surrendered the final two runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth to end the game in five innings.
Freshman shortstop Victoria Saucedo provided some of the Aggie offense with a single up the middle in the first inning. Senior second baseman Allison Lenzora was the only other Aggie to get a base hit with a single to right in the top of the third inning.
Sunday's game has also been pushed an hour earlier and will begin at 12 p.m. (MT) instead of 1 p.m. (MT).
Aggie fans all the games in the series live through the Mountain West Network at http://www.utahstateaggies.com/videos/.
Fans can keep up with all of the Aggie softball action at www.utahstateaggies.com. Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUSoftball, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUSoftball.
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