April 27, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - - Taking on another day of high winds and a scrappy New Mexico team, the Utah State softball team fell in the series finale 6-4 Sunday at Lobo Softball Field. The Lobos were able to score four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead for good.
Utah State drops the series and falls to 18-29 overall and 6-12 in Mountain West action. New Mexico improves to 16-32 overall and 7-14 in league play.
Sophomore starting pitcher Noelle Johnson returned to the lineup after missing time with an injury. Johnson took the loss falling to 16-16, while New Mexico's Lauren Soles earned the win, improving to 6-6.
"Noelle was on early on. I thought she did great coming back from an injury. She put us in a position to win today, unfortunately we didn't do anything to help her out," USU head coach Steve Johnson said. "We didn't deserve to win. Outside of the third inning, we didn't make any adjustments at the plate. We didn't have good approaches. Leaving the bases loaded twice with the middle of the order up killed us. Towards the end with the errors and not getting the job done, we didn't do anything to deserve to win this game."
Johnson started the game strong, striking out the side in the bottom of the second inning.
The Aggies scored four runs in the top of the third inning. Sophomore outfielder Kirstyn Namba started the inning with double down the left field line. Senior second baseman Allison Lenzora and junior outfielder both followed with walks to load the bases. Freshman designated player Victoria Saucedo came through again with a two-run double to left. Junior third baseman Nicole Arata came through with a two-out single up the middle to put USU up 4-0.
New Mexico battled backed with single runs in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings. In the fourth, Johnson worked her way out of jam with back-to-back strikeouts with two runners on base. The Lobos were able to cut the Aggie lead to 4-2 heading into the fifth inning.
USU got the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning on a single by freshman first baseman Paxton Provost and a pair of walks by senior catcher Samanatha Larsen and Namba. UNM pitcher Soles was able to get out of the inning without and Aggie crossing the plate.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lobos took the lead with four runs to go ahead 6-4. Jasmine Casadas and Mia Hignojos both scored after Utah State error with two outs. Two more UNM runs crossed the plate as the Lobos took the lead for good.
USU was not able to get anymore offense going, ending the game with 12 runners left on base.
The Aggies now return home for their final three home games of the season against Nevada, Friday-Sunday, May 2-4. Utah State will honor its six seniors on Sunday: Samantha Larsen, Allison Lenzora, Annie Thomas, Rachael Tuckett, Becca Walker and Kelsie Webster.
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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