May 6, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State was swept by No. 12 Hawai'i, 18-0 in five innings and 10-3 in a doubleheader at a sun-drenched LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field on Sunday afternoon to spoil USU's Senior Day in its season finale.
Hawai'i clinched the regular-season Western Athletic Conference title and the top seed in next week's league tournament with the win in the first game and padded their national ranking with the win in the second, improving to 43-5 overall and 17-3 in WAC action with the wins. USU ends its season at 17-36 overall and 4-17 in conference play.
Saturday was Senior Day for USU as the Aggies honored their four seniors in a pre-game ceremony, recognizing Dani Chaplin, Tatem Day, Kelley Kaneshiro and Lindsey Marquez in their final day in Aggie uniforms.
Junior infielder Christine Thomsen was involved in all three of USU's runs in the second game, belting a home run, lacing a double and a single and coming around to score after both leadoff hits.
In the opening game, Hawai'i found its offensive groove early, putting 11 runs on the board in the second inning and six in the fourth. The Wahine were led by Kelly Majam's 4-for-4 effort at the plate while Leisha Li'ili'i was 3-for-3, Jessica Iwata was 2-for-4 with four RBI, including a HR and a double, one of seven extra base hits in the game. Sharla Kliebenstein was 2-for-2 with two RBI, both coming on a two-run shot in the second.
Kaia Parnaby threw all five innings, firing two strikeouts while not allowing any walks to improve to 16-2 on the year. Senior Dani Chaplin took the loss in the circle for the Aggies, falling to 5-9, throwing four K's while walking three.
The second game saw Hawai'i get on the board early, plating a pair in the top of the first, but USU responded with a leadoff home run to right field by Thomsen. UH added four runs in the visitor's third, off three hits and taking advantage of three hit batters by Aggie junior hurler Mandy Harmon, before the inning ended with the bases full of Wahine.
Thomsen led off the fourth with a double to right, and two batters later freshman outfielder Hailey Froton traded places with Thomsen by rapping a double to the gap in left center to pull USU within, 6-2. UH added two more runs in the top of the fifth and threatened for a third but sophomore OF Annie Thomas with a frozen right from left to throw out the Hawai'i runner at the plate with sophomore catcher Samantha Miller blocking the plate and applying the tag to end the inning with UH up, 9-2.
Just like the previous two Aggie runs in the game, Thomsen was involved with the rally as she led off with a single and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Froton to pull the Aggies within 9-3. Hawai'i added one more in the top of the sixth for a 10-3 lead.
Utah State put its three healthy seniors in the top of the seventh and Day flashed some fancy glove work at third, scooping up the grounder, stepping on third and fires to first for the double play to end the frame. In the bottom of the seventh, as Miller led off with a single, but the rally was thwarted to end the game, the doubleheader and USU's season.
Fans can follow Utah State softball on twitter at twitter.com/USUSoftball.com and USU athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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