May 13, 2005
STOCKTON, Calif. - Senior first baseman Kelly Leos hit her first home run of the season, a three-run shot in game two, as Utah State softball split its doubleheader with Pacific here Friday. The Aggies fell 6-2 in game one, then garnered the 9-7 victory in the second game.
The split put the Aggies at 23-28 overall and 7-13 in the Big West, while Pacific went to 29-25 and 11-9.
Utah State struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities in the first game as eight base runners were left stranded. Three of those eight runners were stranded in USU's half of the second as Jessica Garnett opened things up with a single to center field and advanced to third on a double by Roxanne Ritchie in the next at bat. Amanda Carver was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but with one out and the bases loaded, Pacific's Natalie King struck out Tara Evans and got Michell Vlahos to fly out to center field to end the threat.
The Aggies did manage to tie the game at one apiece in the fifth as Sara Fleming earned a leadoff walk. Shawn Bjarnson, pinch running for Fleming, advanced to second as Quela Leonhardt walked, and eventually scored on an error by the second baseman on a Kelly Leos hit.
Pacific then did all the damage it needed to in its half of the fifth with four runs on four hits. The rally was highlighted by a two-run double by Michell Anunciation to put the Tigers up 5-1. Anunciation also tacked on the Tigers' sixth and final run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly to centerfield that drove in Brittany Hyams.
Candice Hatch put USU's final run on the board with her fifth home run of the season, a solo shot over the right field fence to make it 6-2.
Leslie Higley (14-11) garnered the loss for the Aggies. It was her first loss since losing to BYU on April 5. King got the win for Pacific, improving to 16-8.
The Aggies didn't let a first game scoring drought affect them in the second game, pouncing on the Tigers with three runs in the top of the first. Their first run came as Fleming scored on a wild pitch, while Heather Haak walked in USU's second run and Ritchie singled to left to drive in the third run.
USU then tacked on five more runs in the third to take an 8-0 lead. The inning was highlighted by a three-run home run from Leos, her first dinger of the season.
Pacific then answered with three in the bottom of the third on an Anunciation three-run homer to right field to bring the Tigers within five, 8-3.
USU would make it 9-3 on a sacrifice fly from Vlahos, and Garnett and Heather Straight would hold the Tigers at bay with just four more runs to give the Aggies the 9-7 win.
Garnett (4-7) was credited with the victory, while Straight picked up her second save of the year.
The Aggies finished with 11 hits in the second game as eight different players recorded at least one hit, including multiple hit efforts from Ritchie (2-4) and Leos (3-4).
Utah State ends its season tomorrow with a single game against the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
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