OGDEN, Utah -
In a mid-week break from conference games, Utah State softball posted a 5-0 win at in-state rival Weber State, Wednesday.
Utah State's victory snaps a 14-game home winning streak for Weber State. It is USU's first win at Wildcat Softball Field since the 2013 season.
Senior second baseman Victoria Saucedo had the most successful day at the plate for the Aggies, where she went 2-for-3. Senior first baseman Paxton Provost and freshman outfielder Riley Plogger also had two hits apiece. Defensively, Provost led the team with six putouts. Senior April Brown started the game on the mound, while freshman Kellie White pitched the final two innings. Together, the pair allowed just two hits, while tallying four strikeouts and walking one batter.
"Today was a great mid-week win against a tough in-state rival. This deep into conference play, it's easy to overlook this games, but we were focused from the start and played well," said USU head coach Steve Johnson. "April and Kellie both threw well and the defense was solid behind them. It was really nice to see our offense get going again after a lackluster weekend at Colorado State."
With the win, Utah State improves to 28-10 on the season, while Weber State falls to 24-14-1.
The first two innings were quiet, but the Aggies got at least one runner on in each. The USU defense allowed just one hit from the Wildcats in the early innings of the day.
The Aggies got the scoring started in the top of the third inning. With one out on the board, junior outfielder Jazmin Clarke singled to left field, stealing second. She then moved to third on a single from Saucedo. A single from Provost followed, pushing Clarke across the plate and getting Saucedo to third. Provost stole second during the next at-bat, the first stolen base of her career. After another out, Plogger added a single, bringing Saucedo home. With senior designated player Sydney Hart at the plate, Plogger and Provost executed a double steal, plating the third run of the inning.
Utah State allowed just one base runner through the next two innings, which was on an Aggie error. Brown added two strikeouts to her line in the process.
The Aggies extended their lead in the top of the fifth on a solo home run from Provost. The final run of the day came in the top of the sixth. The Wildcats moved to their third pitcher of the game, who immediately walked junior catcher Brina Buttacavoli Buttacavoli and freshman pinch hitter Devan Sperry. A sac bunt from Clarke advanced both runners, where Buttacavoli scored on a single from Saucedo.
White entered to relieve Brown in the bottom of the sixth. She walked one batter, but another five were retired, ending the game and securing the shutout for the Aggies.
On the day, Utah State out-hit Weber State, 8-2. The Aggie defense had two errors, while the Wildcats had a clean defensive slate.
"Hopefully we can use this win as momentum into the big weekend series with New Mexico," Johnson said.
Utah State returns to home conference play this weekend, as the Aggies host New Mexico. The three-game series will begin on Friday, April 21, at 4 p.m. The weekend will continue with a 4 p.m. game on Saturday, April 22, and a Noon contest on Sunday, April 23.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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