Aggies Wallop Wolverines Wednesday, 9-4 and 10-1
April 2, 2008
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State softball used the power of the long ball, belting four home runs on the day, to wallop the Wolverines of Utah Valley 9-4 in the opener as the Aggies rallied from an early 4-0 hole, followed by a 10-1 five-inning run-rule contest in the nightcap Wednesday at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field.
USU has now won five of its last eight in improving to 8-20 on the year while UVU falls to 5-22, losing the last five in a row. Four of those five losses have come at the hands of Utah State after last Tuesday's Aggie sweep at Orem. Wednesday's victories sweep the season series with Utah Valley and moves the Aggies to 9-5 all-time against the Wolverines.
Junior P/DP Kayla Dunn belted not only her first home run of the season with a two-run shot in the second inning of the first game, but added her second of the season with another two-run blast in the third frame of the nightcap. Freshman SS Kelley Kaneshiro smacked her team-leading sixth round-tripper of the year with a solo shot in the first inning of game two. Kaneshiro is now part of a five-player logjam for seventh on the Aggies' single-season home run list.
Senior 3B Amy Schaible blasted a walk-off grand slam to end the second game due to the run-rule. It was Schaible's third homer of the year and 17th of her career, moving her within one of third-place on USU's career home run list. Schaible ended the day with five RBI, giving her 68 for her career and vaulting her to ninth on the school RBI list, passing Kelly Smith's 66 from 1984-86, `88, and closing in on Kristie Skoglund's 70 from 1984-87.
Utah Valley took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second of game one after hanging three on the board in the first, taking advantage of five hits and leaving the bases loaded, then adding another run in the second on an RBI-double by Cherlyn McGraw.
USU charged back with two runs in the bottom half of the second on a home run to right by Dunn, scoring junior 2B Jeanine Hernandez who reached on a walk.
The Aggies batted around in the third frame, as Hernandez started the rally with a one-out double. Sophomore RF Nicole Rupp later laced a two-run double to center and classmate, CF Emily Reilly later followed with another two-run double to right. Two batters later, Reilly scored on an error and Schaible completed the rally with an RBI-single. The inning ended with the bases loaded on an infield ground out.
Utah State plated another in the fourth as Reilly doubled to right and scored on another UVU error after sophomore LF Mikey Price singled.
USU didn't score any more runs, but the Aggies didn't have to as junior hurler Lindsey Benson silenced the Wolverines' bats, only allowing two base runners out of the last 14 batters she faced. Benson went the distance, spraying nine hits while firing seven strikeouts in earning the win, improving to 7-14 on the year. The seven strikeouts give Benson 228 for her career, leaving her one shy of tying former teammate Leslie Higley (2003-'06) with 229 K's for seventh on the USU career strikeout list.
Kaneshiro opened the Aggies' scoring in the second game with a two-out solo shot to left. Dunn followed with a walk and freshman RF Megan McDonald plated her with an RBI-double to center for a 2-0 USU lead.
After UVU added a run in the top of the second, Utah State tacked on a pair in the third after Kaneshiro singled and Dunn belted a laser of a homer to left center. The Aggies added two more in the fourth frame as senior DP Tara Evans sparked the rally with a two-out single. Rupp advanced her to third with a double off the base of the left center field fence, and Reilly plated them with a single up the middle to put USU ahead, 6-1.
In the Aggies' fifth, Kaneshiro led off with a walk and Dunn singled to center. UVU made a pitching change, bringing in game starter Heidi Stocks back in, and she walked McDonald. Schaible then followed with her grand slam shot to left center to end the game.
Sophomore Stacey Ellingsworth pitched all five innings, only allowing five hits while striking out three, earning the win to improve to 1-2 on the season.
Utah State completes its nine-game homestand with a weekend Western Athletic Conference series against San Jose State Friday and Saturday, April 4-5. Friday's single game starts at 3 p.m. before the three-game series concludes with Saturday's twinbill at 1 p.m. San Jose State is 20-20 overall and 2-1 in WAC action.
Admission to all of USU home games at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field is free to the public.