April 30, 2010
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Redshirt-sophomore Kelley Kaneshiro broke the Utah State single-season home run record with her 12th long ball this season as the USU softball team was swept by New Mexico State at the NMSU Softball Complex in Las Cruces, N.M., Friday. NMSU won the first game 4-3 in nine innings and captured the second 9-1 in five innings.
With the sweep, the USU falls to 20-28 overall and 5-13 in Western Athletic Conference action. New Mexico State improves to 24-25 and 4-13 in the WAC. Both teams are vying for one of the six spots in the upcoming WAC Tournament in Las Cruces.
In game one, Utah State threatened in the top of the second inning after freshman second baseman Tina Ferguson started the inning with a double to short right field. NMSU starter Carissa Theis quickly got the next two outs before walking junior Joreigh Landers. But Theis got senior Emily Reilly to pop out to end the inning.
The blue Aggies struck first in the top of the fourth inning. Kelley Kaneshiro became the Utah State single-season home run leader with her shot to center field to give USU the 1-0 lead with her 12th home run of the season. She was tied for the single-season lead with Amy Schaible who had 11 long balls in 2007. Kaneshiro now has 22 career home runs which places her in second place all-time behind Sandy Taylor's 24 career home runs.
Utah State added two more runs in the top of the six once again via the long ball. Kaneshiro started the rally with a single to left field. Ferguson then hit her ninth home run of the season over the left center field fence to give USU a 3-0 lead.
New Mexico State tied the score with three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Both Kandis Jones and Noku Nahara reached on errors. Angie Ortega came up with the big two-run single to scored to and cut the lead down to 3-2. Pinch runner Tehani Kaaihue then scored on a single by Brittany Clifton to tie the score at 3-3 after six.
The southern Aggies tried to end the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jones lead off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After an Ortega walk, Greenough was able to get Ashley Maroda to foul out to end the inning.
Utah State lost its third WAC game of the year on a walk off home run when Clifton ended the game with her fifth home run of the season to give NMSU the 4-3 win in the bottom of the ninth inning. USU also lost on walk off home runs against Louisiana Tech and Boise State. Last week, it was the Aggies turn when they defeated San Jose State on a Ferguson home run.
In the circle, Greenough fell to 11-14 with the loss. Relief pitcher Torrey Schroeder improved to 9-10 with the win. The northern Aggies are now 1-1 in extra inning wins. In game two, New Mexico State wasted no time scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The first two batters reached on singles. With one out, Ortega singled to load the bases. Nohara brought two runs in with a double to right center. Amber Olive doubled in another run, while Kaaihue grounded in another run to give the maroon Aggies the 4-1 lead.
Utah State got one run back in the third inning. Landers reached on a error by NMSU third baseman Kaaihue. She then stole second. After two quick USU outs, Ferguson drove home Landers with a single to second to cut the lead down to 4-1. Ferguson now has 31 RBI and is only the second Aggie with over 30 RBI behind Kaneshiro's 34.
NMSU added three more runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 7-1 lead. The big blow was a two-run home run by Ortega. New Mexico State put the game away with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Freshman Shelbi Tyteca took the loss in game two, falling to 2-5. Syndey Williard went the distance for NMSU and improved to 6-5.
Utah State will round the WAC regular season with a single game against New Mexico State on Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m.
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