May 9, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Sophomore pitcher Noelle Johnson tied the Utah State single-season strikeout record as the Aggie softball team dropped a hard-fought battle, 2-1, Friday at Eller Media Softball Field in Las Vegas.
USU is now 18-36 overall and 6-17 in Mountain West action this season, while UNLV improves to 25-28 overall and 14-9 in league play. The Aggies have now lost nine-straight games. Johnson went the distance for the second-straight game against the Rebels, falling to 16-21 this season. Johnson was solid, allowing only six hits.
With a srikeout of Francesca Foti in the bottom of the third inning, Johnson tied the single-season strikeout record. She is now tied with Aggie-great Mary Lou Ramm-Flippen, who had 217 strikeouts in 1980.
Johnson and UNLV starting pitcher Morgan Ettinger both started strong, allowing only one hit apiece throughout the first three innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, UNLV struck first when Pauline Monreal homered to left on a ball that was just barely fair. The Rebels added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning, using small ball. Pinch runner Emelie Valdadez scored on a single by Samantha Juarez to take a 2-0 lead.
The Aggies attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh inning when freshman designated player Victoria Saucedo singled to right and was pinch ran for by senior Annie Thomas. Johnson reached on an error and advanced to second on a passed ball. Thomas cut the lead in half when she scored on a single by junior third baseman Nicole Arata. Thursday's starter Amanda Oliveto came in to finish the game, earning her third save of the game.
The Aggies and Rebels wrap up the series and the season on Saturday, May 10 at 2 p.m. (MT).
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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