Benson Pitches Gem As USU Softball Falls To Utah 1-0
April 6, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - In a pitcher's duel between Utah State senior Lindsey Benson and Utah junior Ashley Smuda, the Aggies lost a heartbreaker, 1-0, at Ute Field on Monday in Salt Lake City. Hard-luck pitcher, Lindsey Benson, allowed only two hits in the loss and did not allow a hit until the seventh inning.
This game was an improvement over the previous meeting between the teams this season when the Utes out-slugged the Aggies 10-0 in six inning in St. George on Feb. 7. In this meeting, Utah State out-hit Utah 5-2 but was not able to plate a run.
"We have had some games where we played really well, but to me that was one of the best games that we have played all year," USU head coach Candi Letts said, "It is just one of those things; one pitch away from winning or a hit away. But we played a great game, we just couldn't get the timely ball to fall when we had runners in scoring position."
With the loss, USU drops to 8-23 overall, while Utah improves to 14-21 with the late-inning win. The Utes improve to 85-54-1 overall against Utah State with the victory. Benson is now 1-4, while Smuda improves to 10-7.
The Aggies got the first two hits of the game when freshman Rayna Bradshaw singled to leftfield in the top of the first and, sophomore Megan McDonald singled up the middle in the top of the third inning. Ute pitcher Ashley Smuda was able to get out jams in both of those innings.
The first baserunner that Utah had was in the bottom of the second when Benson hit Hannah Clements. She was quickly erased from the basepaths when catcher Simone Hubbard threw her out attempting to steal.
In the top of the fourth inning, Bradshaw once again single to leftfield for her second hit of the game. Bradshaw was eliminated from the basepaths on a fielder's choice by freshman Jasmine Harris. The rally was extended by senior Aubrie Stroman with a single up the middle, but Smuda would get senior Jeanine Hernandez to pop up to end the threat.
Benson lost her no-hit bid with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Whitney Holm drilled a single to rightfield. The very next batter, Hannah Clements, also singled to right. An error by rightfielder Emily Reilly allowed Holm to cross the plate and give Utah its 14th win of the season.
The two teams now head north for a doubleheader at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field in Logan on Tuesday, April 7 at 2 p.m. Following the two games with Utah, the Aggies make the long trip to Honolulu for a three-game Western Athletic Conference series with Hawai`i April 10-11.