LOGAN, Utah -
Despite a late comeback, Utah State softball closed the home portion of its 2018 season in a 7-5 loss to San José State, Sunday.
All five Utah State seniors were in the starting lineup Sunday. Jordyn McCracken made the start in the circle, throwing four complete innings before being relieved by sophomore Kellie White. Together, the pair struck out seven batters and walked six. Freshman second baseman Stephanie Reed led the Utah State offense, as she was 3-for-3 on the day for the second game in a row.
Utah State falls to 18-30 on the year, including a 7-14 Mountain West record. San José State improves to 32-16 overall and 16-7 in conference play with the win.
Like in the first two games of the weekend, San José State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With the bases loaded before any outs were made, a sac fly brought the first run across. Another single brought a run home before the final out was made on a runner trying to get to third.
The Aggies were able to answer with a single run in the bottom of the inning. Senior outfielder Jazmin Clarke reached first on a Spartan error, stealing second. After one out, sophomore outfielder Riley Plogger also reached on an error. A single from senior catcher Brina Buttacavoli followed, scoring Clarke and moving Plogger to third, but she was thrown out at second on the play. Utah State then tied the score in the bottom of the second. Senior third baseman Amee Aarhus led off with a single, advancing on a sac bunt from senior outfielder Emily Hunter. Reed followed with a double to right center, bringing Aarhus home.
After a quiet third inning on both sides, San José State took the lead back in the top of the fourth. With a lead-off single on board, the second batter earned a two-run home run. The Spartans then drew a walk, with the runner coming home on a double to left field. SJSU then added to its lead in the top of the sixth with another two-run home run.
Down 7-2 after six-and-a-half innings, Utah State wasn't quite done. The Aggies came out strong in the bottom of the seventh, opening their final inning with a pair of hits and a fielder's choice. Runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, giving Buttacavoli the opportunity to drive freshman outfielder Leah Molina home on a groundout. Junior first baseman Bailee Trapp then walked, with junior Mia Maher entering the run. Aarhus came up with a triple to the center field warning track, bringing Plogger and Maher across the plate. Unfortunately, the rally ended there, as the next at-bat resulted in a line drive, ending the game.
Both teams had 10 hits in the game, while the Spartans had three errors to Utah State's one.
Utah State will wrap up the 2018 season in a road series at San Diego State next weekend. The Aggies and Aztecs will play on Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m. (MT), with the season finale set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.
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