May 5, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State softball battled hard against No. 12 Hawai'i in Saturday's series opener, but could not slowdown the high-powered Rainbow Wahine offense late in the game as UH pulled away to take the game, 9-2.
USU is now 17-34 overall, 4-15 in the Western Athletic Conference on the season, while Hawai'i improves to 41-5 overall, 15-3 in the WAC. Senior infielder Lindsey Marquez provided the excitement for USU in Saturday's action, as she delivered a two-run blast off one of the nation's best pitchers.
Junior starting pitcher Shelbi Tyteca dug in early against one of the best offenses in the country, allowing only one run through the first three innings of action on Saturday. The USU offense looked to rally in support of its starter, putting runners in scoring position in the first three innings of play. The Aggies could not capitalize on the early opportunities.
UH built on its lead by scoring a two runs in the top of the fourth and added another solo run in the top of the fifth to take a 4-0, lead into the late innings of the game.
Utah State looked to respond in the bottom half of the fifth frame, as freshman utility player Jolene Koons delivered a one-out triple down the right field line to give the home team another scoring chance late in the game. USU failed to take advantage of the chance and converted the next the outs to end the inning with Koons stranded on third.
The Raindow Wahine put the game out of reach for the home team as it added five more runs in the top of the seventh inning, stretching their lead out to a, 9-0 advantage.
Marquez stole the highlight for the Aggies as she generated the only runs of the day for her squad. The senior graduate on Saturday afternoon, missing the teams warm-up time to be able to walk and receive her diploma before making her way to the softball field just before game time.
Marquez was called upon in the bottom of the seventh inning as a pinch hitter with a runner on first. Marquez battled hard against one of the best pitcher in the country, Hawai`i's Stephanie Ricketts, eventually getting a ball low and away that she drove over the right field fence for her third home run of the season. Marquez's home run was the only runs allowed in the game by Ricketts, who came into Saturday's action with the nation's fifth-best ERA, 1.02.
Utah State softball will conclude its 2012 regular season with a doubleheader on Sunday, May 6 as it will close out its series with WAC leader, Hawai`i. USU will take time before the games to honor its four seniors, Marquez, Dani Chaplin, Kelley Kaneshiro and Tatem Day. Fans are encouraged to come support the seniors. Senior Day ceremonies will begin at approximately 11:50 a.m. (MT).
For all of those who cannont make it out the field on Sunday, live stats links will be available to fans on the www.utahstateaggies.com homepage.
Follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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