Softball Opens Home And WAC Play With Losses
March 31, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's softball team opened its home and conference schedule with a pair of losses against 24th-ranked Fresno State here on Friday. With the losses, the Aggies fell to 4-21 overall and 0-2 in WAC play, while Fresno State improved to 24-13 overall and 3-1 in the WAC.
Jamie Fife wasted no time putting Utah State on the scoreboard as she hit her first home run as an Aggie in the bottom of the first inning, giving Utah State a 1-0 lead.
Pitcher Leslie Higley battled to maintain the lead as she held Fresno State hitless over the first four and one-third innings. The Bulldogs Shannon Garvin broke up Higley's no-hit bid with one out in the fifth inning as she doubled to right center. Christina Clark was then intentionally walked, and two batters later, Kristin Sylvester would give Fresno State its first lead as she doubled home Garvin and Clark.
Sara Fleming would tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-out solo shot. The home run was Fleming's second in as many games as well as her second of the season.
The Aggie lead was short-lived as Fresno State's Haley Perkins led-off the seventh inning with her second home run of the season, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead which they would never surrender. Utah State's last gasp was ended as Fresno State's Robin Mackin struck out the final two Aggies to end the game.
Mackin picked up her 18th win of the season as she went the full seven innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits, striking out 11. Higley dropped to 0-6 on the season as she went six and one-third innings, allowing just four hits and three earned runs.
The Aggies could only manage two hits, but both were home runs by Fife and Fleming. Utah State has now homered four times in the last two games.
In the second game, Utah State was hurt by two five-run innings as the Bulldogs opened the game with five runs and sealed the victory by adding another five in the top of the fifth inning.
Whitnie Ray put the Aggies on the board in the second as she doubled in Quela Leonhardt, who opened the inning with a single. Utah State cut the Bulldogs lead to 5-2 in the third as Mackin walked the bases loaded and Leonhardt added a RBI ground out, but the Aggies could not plate another run as they left two runners on base to end the inning.
Utah State was unable add another run the rest of the game as it lost 10-2 to Fresno State in five innings. Mackin picked up her second win of the day and improved her record to 19-8, while Heather Straight dropped to 4-6 with the loss.
The two teams will return to action as they wrap-up the three game series with a single game on Saturday, April 1 at Johnson field with the first pitch scheduled for noon.