April 8, 2014
POCATELLO, Idaho - Despite launching three home runs in the game, the Utah State softball team could not stop Idaho State, falling 9-6 at Miller Ranch Stadium on Tuesday.
This was the Aggies' third loss this season to the Bengals. Utah State falls to 15-21 this season, while Idaho State improves to 22-15 with the win.
"I think that in all three parts of the game we looked great at times, and we looked bad at times," USU head coach Steve Johnson said. "Noelle (Johnson) had those three innings where she was lights out, but the first two innings were just disastrous. The same thing offensively, where we had three innings where we were just killing the ball, and then we made dumb baserunning errors, or we got one hit and couldn't string hits together. Today was all about the little things. There were a lot of little things that hurt us today."
The Bengals struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Kacie Burnett started the inning with a single to left with Katelyn Marquez following with another single to the left side to put runners on first and second. With one out, Terah Blackwell laced a double to right center, as ISU took the early 2-0 lead. Sophomore starting pitcher Nicole Johnson was able to get to strikeouts to end the Bengal threat.
In the top of the second inning, Utah State responded with two runs of its own to tie the score at 2-2. The Aggie used the long ball to even the score. Freshman Paxton Provost launched her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence. Johnson helped her own cause with a homer to left which was her third of the season.
ISU took no time re-taking the lead with five runs in the bottom half of the second inning to go up, 7-2, taking advantage of two Aggie errors. The Bengals strung together four singles and a double to plate the five runs.
USU once again used the long ball to cut the ISU lead to 7-5. Senior second baseman Allison Lenzora continued her hot hitting with a single to left center. With one out, junior shortstop Jolene Koons doubled to right center to put runners on second and third. After a pop out by freshman third baseman Victoria Saucedo, junior outfielder Hailey Froton showed her power with a three-run home run to center. Froton leads the team with seven home runs, as USU has 26 home runs this season after hitting only eight last year.
The Bengals put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth inning after a two-run home run by Blackwell put ISU up by four runs, 9-5.
Utah State did not go down without a fight in the seventh inning, eventually bringing the game-tying run to the plate after an RBI single by Froton, scored Lenzora.
Froton ended the game going 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored. Both Provost and Johnson drove home single runs.
Noelle Johnson suffered the loss in the circle, falling to 14-13 this season. She took the loss despite allowing only six earned runs of the nine allowed.
Utah State will take the week off from Mountain West action. USU will 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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