April 6, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - Utah State starting pitcher Mandy Harmon battled hard to keep her team within striking distance in Friday's match-up against Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State. The Bulldogs early offense was too much for USU to overcome and would fall, 4-0, in the opening game of it's weekend series.
With the loss, Utah State falls to 11-23 overall and 2-5 WAC action. Fresno State improves to 25-15 overall and 5-1 league play.
The Aggies threatened early as junior infielder and Fresno native Christine Thomsen delivered a double that rolled to the right-centerfield wall. Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro showed patience at the plate, working the count full before being issued a walk to put runners on first and second. Utah State could not convert on the opportunity.
Fresno State took the early advantage plating one in the bottom of the first frame on a Michelle Moses double to left-centerfield, driving in one-run to take a 1-0 lead into the second inning.
Harmon did not allow the Bulldogs the opportunity to build on their lead, with a three-up-three-down inning in the bottom of the second.
USU put together another scoring threat in the top of the third as it was able to load the bases, but once again Moses worked her way out of the jam without surrendering a run to the visiting team. During the third inning action, Kaneshiro was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season, which is the second most of any batter in the WAC.
Fresno State added to its lead in the bottom of the third frame, scoring three-runs on four hits. Harmon had to work her way out of a bases loaded jam to end the inning as the Bulldogs took a 4-0 lead.
Neither offense could gain much traction as both pitchers found their rhythm late in the game. The Aggies looked to threaten the Bulldogs, 4-0, lead in the top of the seventh when junior utility player Kali Cancelosi delivered a pinch hit single with two outs, which was followed with a base on balls by sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida. Utah State converted the next out however, ending the ball game.
Moses was credited with her 15th win of the season and a 15-10 overall record. Moses only gave up three hits to the Aggies. Harmon falls to 5-12 this season despite striking out six and surrendering seven hits in six innings of work.
USU will continue its series with Fresno State on Saturday, April 7 with a doubleheader. First pitch for game one is set to be delivered at 2 p.m. (MT). Fans can follow live stats through the Game Tracker links available onwww.utahstateaggies.com homepage or can get updates via Twitter at USUSoftball.
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