April 6, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - Senior second baseman Allison Lenzora led the Aggie offense as Utah State softball pounded San José State, 16-8, in five innings, Sunday at another chilly day at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Softball Field.
The 16 runs were the most scored by the Aggies since USU scored 17 on April 15, 1995 against New Mexico State. All nine hitters in the Utah State lineup had at least one hit Sunday afternoon.
The Aggies improve to 15-20 overall and 4-5 in Mountain West action. San Jose State falls to 21-15 overall and 4-2 in MW play with the loss.
"This was why we've kept on them because this is what we knew they could do as hitters. I don't have a magic answer for it. I wish I did and I could write a book and make millions, but we knew this was there and this was possible," USU head coach Steve Johnson said. "I think once we got that seven-run first inning, we started believing in ourselves a little bit better and that gets contagious, just like sharks circling in the water when they smell blood and everyone wants to be the next one up. Today everyone just battled and battled, and put the ball in play and made things happen."
This was the third game of the series that was halted early due to the run-rule, but the first in the favor of USU. In a series with a lot of scoring, Utah State broke through with seven runs in the bottom of the first after San José State scored a single run in the top of the first inning. The Aggie rally was highlighted by a two-run double to right center by sophomore starting pitcher Noelle Johnson. The inning was capped off by a three-run triple down the right field line by Lenzora.
The Spartans responded with six runs of their own to tie the score at 7-7 in the top of the third inning. Erin Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to put SJSU right back into the game.
San José State took advantage of four Aggie errors with two of the eight runners scoring as unearned runs.
USU took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 10-7 lead. Junior outfielder Amburlyn Orozco led off the inning against SJSU reliever Madison Fish, as Fish entered the at bat with 13 pitches thrown and Orozco battled Fish to a 2-2 count, fouling off several pitches before lacing a single on the 13th pitch of the at bat. After Orozco stole second, Lenzora plated her in with a single to center, but was thrown out after a run-down between first and second. Froton later drove home two more runs with a double to left center scoring both sophomore outfielder Sarah Chow and junior shortstop Jolene Koons, who reached on walks.
After SJSU plated one more run in the top of the fourth, Utah State put the game away with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Koons drove home two runs with a double to right center. The Aggies then showed their power with a two-run home run by Saucedo, which was her fifth of the year. The next batter, Froton, also went deep with her team-leading sixth long ball of the season. Freshman first baseman Paxton Provost singled to keep the inning going and was pinch ran for by senior Annie Thomas, who moved to second on a walk. Sophomore Kirstyn Namba ended the game with a single to right that scored Thomas and gave USU the 16-8 win.
"That's huge to get hits from all nine hitters. We've had some of our bigger games where our bottom of the order has come up huge for us. Allison has that potential in her, today going 3-for-3 with four RBI. If we can get contributions from all nine hitters, it takes the pressure off a few to think they have to try and do it all. It's huge if we can get even just a base hit from the bottom of the order, just to get through the lineup. Everybody did well for us today," Johnson said.
Noelle Johnson earned the win in the circle, improving to 14-12 this season.
Utah State will take the week off from Mountain West action, but will take on border foe Idaho State for a single game beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8 in Pocatello, Idaho.
USU will then return home to host Weber State in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 15.
Aggie fans can follow all home games 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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