April 22, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - - Utah State softball dropped a pair of games to second-place Fresno State at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field Friday, losing the first, 5-3, and dropping the second, 7-1.
With the losses, the Aggies fall to 10-37 overall and 4-10 in Western Athletic Conference action. Fresno State improves to 28-11 overall and 12-2 in WAC play.
In the opener, Fresno State struck first before the Aggies frantically tried to win the game in the late innings. The Bulldogs scored a quartet of runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead. Demi Walker started the inning with a double to center. After a strike out, Haley Gilleland walked to put runners on first and second. Starting pitcher sophomore Shelbi Tyteca then hit Andrea Ortega to load the bases. Fresno State's starting pitcher, Michelle Moses, then helped her own cause with a grand slam to give Fresno State the 4-0 lead. The home run was her 10th of the season.
After being no-hit by Moses through the first four innings, freshman infielder Allison Lenzora tallied the Aggies' first hit of the game with a single to left in the top of the fifth. Moses was able to tally two of her 13 strikeouts on the day to end the inning.
Fresno State added one more run in the top of the sixth to take a 5-0 lead. Once again Moses was in on the action, leading off the inning with a walk off of sophomore Mandy Harmon who relieved Tyteca in the fourth. Caitlin Stiglich followed with a double to right center that scored Moses from first. Harmon registered two of her seven strikeouts to end the Bulldog threat.
Utah State came blazing back in the bottom of the seventh inning when senior infielder Shasta Tyteca led off the frame with a home run to left. The long ball was her fourth of the season. With one out, Lenzora walked to continue the inning. Senior outfielder Megan McDonald singled to right center to advance Lenzora to third, and McDonald advanced to second on the throw. Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro followed with a walk to load the bases. Freshman outfielder Kassy Uchida came through in the clutch, lacing a single to left to score Lenzora. The single was her team-leading 45th hit of the year. Senior outfielder Joreigh Landers came within feet of a walk-off grand slam, but Rebecca Hall corralled the shot at the top of the fence. McDonald scored on the play to cut the lead to 5-3, but Moses closed the door on USU's rally.
Tyteca fell to 3-10 with the loss, while Moses improved to 12-9. Harmon fired seven strikeouts in four innings of work in relief.
In game two, Fresno State replicated its game one scoring by plating four runs in an inning, this time scoring in the second inning. The Bulldogs needed only two hits and took advantage of four walks and a hit batsman off two different USU pitchers to take the early 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added two more runs in the fourth off a two-run round-tripper by the always dangerous Moses. In the sixth, Fresno State added its seventh and final run of the game when Moses blasted her third homer of the day to put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
In the home half of the sixth, Kaneshiro smacked her ninth home run of the season to cut the lead to 7-1. She now has 31 career long balls in a USU uniform. That would be the only scoring for the Aggies as Harmon fell to 7-21 with the loss.
The teams will conclude the series with a single game on Saturday, April 23 at 12 p.m. prior to the Aggie football team's annual Spring Game at 2 p.m. at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
Fans can follow USU softball on Twitter and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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