March 31, 2009
OREM, Utah - Utah State softball used the long ball to earn a split against Utah Valley on Tuesday in Orem. The Wolverines came from behind to win the first game, 6-5, while the Aggies dominated the second game, 7-0. Junior Kate Greenough earned her second-straight win and evens out her record to 5-5, while freshman Jasmine Harris belted her team-leading fifth home run of the season as part of her four runs batted in to lead USU at the plate in the nightcap.
In the first game, Utah State struck first scoring two runs in the top of the first. Junior Nicole Rupp started the inning with a one-out double to left center. She came around to score on a single to left from freshman Rayna Bradshaw. Junior Simone Hubbard would bring Bradshaw around with her 14th RBI of the season. Despite one more hit by freshman Jasmine Harris, USU could not plate another run and ended the first half of the first inning with a 2-0 lead.
The Wolverines cut the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the first. UVU wasted no time cutting the lead down when leadoff hitter Meghan Woodworth hit a home run to deep center field to cut the lead in half. Senior pitcher Lindsey Benson would get out of the inning with no more damage.
The Aggies were back at it in the top of the second inning. Rayna Bradshaw got her second hit of the game to begin the inning. She moved to second when Simone Hubbard reached on an error by UVU shortstop Samantha Telarroja. Bradshaw scored on an RBI double by Harris down the leftfield line to make the score 3-1.
Once again, Utah Valley responded with a run in the bottom of the third. Lauren Augino started the inning with a bunt single. When she stole second, catcher Simone Hubbard's throw got past shortstop Jasmine Harris and Augino went to third. Augino scored on a double to right center by Amber Sackett.
USU added two more runs in the top of the fifth, putting together three sacrifice hits to move runners around and taking advantage of a UVU error to take a 5-2 lead.
Utah Valley would continue to fight scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, Meghan Woodworth started the rally reaching on an error by Aggie second baseman Nicole Rupp. Woodworth went to second on a sacrifice bunt. UVU tied the game 5-5 after an error by centerfielder Emily Reilly allowed Woodworth to score. Magan Niemann reached second on the Aggies' fourth error of the game. The game-winning run crossed the plate on a single by Kylee Steadman.
With the loss USU's Benson, who allowed only four earned runs, falls to 1-13. With the win, UVU's Jessica Martin improves to 7-8.
In the second game, sophomore Megan McDonald broke a six-game Utah State home run drought with her second long ball of the season. The previous home run for the Aggies was by Rayna Bradshaw against Cal State Bakersfield on March 9.
In the top of the third, the Aggies exploded for five runs to take a 6-0 lead. Rupp reached on a fielder's choice and stole second base. A Rayna Bradshaw single and an error would score Rupp. Simone Hubbard walked to set the table for Jasmine Harris and the freshman drilled her team-leading fifth home run of the season. Junior Emily Reilly walked and moved to second on an Aubrie Stroman fielder's choice and an error, and both advanced a base when Cami Jones walked. Gina Rawls drove in the sixth run with a ground out to give USU the 6-0 advantage.
USU stretched the lead to 7-0 with one more run in the fourth. Rupp reached base for the second time in the game with a double to left centerfield. With two outs, Harris drove earned her fourth RBI of the game and fifth of the day with a single to left center.
Junior Kate Greenough went the distance for the Aggies first shut out of the season. She struck out eight and allowed only five hits.
Utah State remains in the Beehive State and returns home for a three-game Western Athletic Conference series with New Mexico State beginning with a single game on Friday, April 3 at 3 p.m. before a doubleheader on Saturday, April 4 starting at 1 p.m., at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field. Admission to all USU softball games is free.
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