April 13, 2013
SEATTLE - Utah State softball was knocked off by Seattle, 8-0, in five innings Saturday at SU's Logan Field. Saturday's start time was moved up one hour earlier due to impending rain, but the moisture held off on the chilly, breezy day.
With the loss, USU slides to 8-33 overall and 2-10 in Western Athletic Conference action. SU improves to 17-23 overall and 6-6 in conference play after sweeping the three-game weekend series in the lone season as league foes.
Sophomore third baseman Nicole Arata led USU at the plate with a 2-for-2 outing with a double. Sophomore right fielder Hailey Froton was 1-for-2 and senior first baseman Christine Thomsen was 1-for-3.
Senior pitcher Mandy Harmon started in the circle for the Aggies Saturday, a day after firing a no-hitter through six-and-two-thirds innings in the second game of Friday's twinbill. However Seattle wiped out any chance of a no-hitter early Saturday, as leadoff hitter Isabella Geronimo belted a triple down the left field line and into the corner. The Redhawks used their hawkeye vision to push several counts to full in drawing three walks mixed in with a hit by pitch to score two runs in the home half of the first frame.
Sophomore third baseman Nicole Arata led off the USU second with a double down the left field line, and later moved to third with two outs, but the Aggie rally stalled.
Freshman Noelle Johnson came on in relief of Harmon in the bottom of the second, and SU strung together three hits to plate two more runs, opening up a 4-0 lead with two innings in the books. Seattle added one run in the third on two hits and then three more runs on four hits with two singles and two doubles in the fifth for the run-rule victory.
Harmon took the loss for USU, falling to 2-20 on the year, allowing two runs on one hit with one strikeout in the lone inning of action. Johnson went three-and-two-thirds, yielding six runs on 10 hits while firing five strikeouts.
Utah State returns home to the friendly confines of LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field to open a hectic seven-game, eight-day homestand, starting on Tuesday, April 16 with an in-state doubleheader, first hosting Utah at 1:30 p.m. (MT) in a make-up from March 20. The Aggies will then host Utah Valley at 4 p.m. The next day, USU will host Southern Utah on Wednesday, April 17 at 4 p.m. in another Beehive State battle.
The Aggies then return to WAC action by hosting Louisiana Tech in a three-game weekend series, starting with two games Friday, April 19 at 2 and 4 p.m., and a single game on Saturday, April 20 at Noon. USU will then wrap-up the busy stretch at home with a non-conference contest against border-foe Idaho State on Wednesday, April 24.
Fans can follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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