April 26, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - - On a very blustery day in Albuquerque, the Utah State softball team fell to New Mexico, 20-3, in five innings at Lobo Softball Field on Saturday. The loss evens the series a game apiece, heading into the series finale on Sunday.
Utah State is now 18-28 overall and 6-11 in Mountain West action. New Mexico improves to 15-32 overall and 6-15 in league play.
USU junior starting pitcher Franny Vaaulu took the loss, falling to 0-3 this season, while UNM's Tess McPherson improved to 1-8.
"I told them that I was really disappointed just in the way that we came out. We weren't there mentally. Franny actually had her best start until the second inning. We didn't get that ground ball with the lead off hitter, which led to the home run and extended the inning. Those are plays we have to make for Franny right now. At the plate, our approach was very poor. We took strike one and strike two without taking a hack at it. We have got to do a better job for our pitchers, especially right now, than what we did today," USU head coach Steve Johnson said.
Utah State plated two runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Sarah Chow continued her hot hitting with an infield single and was eliminated from the base paths with a fielder's choice by junior shortstop Jolene Koons. Freshman designated player Victoria Saucedo followed with a single through the left side, as did junior outfielder Hailey Froton to load the bases. Freshman first baseman Paxton Provost drove in the first run of the game with a single to right to bring home Koons. Saucedo scored the Aggies' second run of the inning when junior third baseman Nicole Arata walked.
New Mexico cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning. Brandi Heimburg started off with a walk. She eventually stole a base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Heimburg later scored on a fielder's choice by Mariah Rimmer.
The Lobos broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the second inning. UNM scored three of the five runs with two outs, including a two-run home run off the bat of Naomi Tellez as New Mexico took the 6-2 lead.
USU got one run back in the top of the third inning when Arata reached on a double to right center. Junior outfielder Amburlyn Orozco drove home Arata to make the game 6-3.
The Lobos had another big inning in the bottom of the third inning to put the game out of reach, 10-3. Once again, New Mexico scored two runs with two outs in the inning.
UNM had another strong offensive inning in the bottom of the fourth inning with 10 runs to take a 20-3 advantage.
Saucedo posted a solid outing at the plate for the Aggies, going 2-for-3 with one run scored.
USU finishes out the three-game set against New Mexico on Sunday, April 27 at 12 p.m. (MT).
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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