Weekly Softball Update
March 7, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State (8-8, 0-0 WAC) at the Long Beach State Invitational Friday, March 9-11 Long Beach, Calif.
QUICKLY - Utah State softball (8-8, 0-0 WAC) heads back to the Golden State for weekend action in the Long Beach State Invitational, March 9-11. USU will also spend an extra day in southern California to play in a double header on Monday, March 12 at Loyola Marymount.
The Aggies lead off their weekend with match-ups against Pittsburgh and No. 24 North Carolina on Friday, March 9. First pitch against the Panthers is set for 12:30 p.m. (MT). Utah State will play its next game against UNC at 3 p.m. The Tar Heels are the second ranked team USU has faced this season.
Saturday's action for the Aggies will be just one game against Big Ten foe Michigan State. First pitch for the game has been moved to 10 a.m.
Utah State will closeout play in the Long Beach State Invitational with two games on Sunday. The first game will be against Cal State Fullerton at 12:15 p.m. followed with a bout against head coach Carissa Millsap-Kalaba's alma matter, No. 17 UCLA, at 2:30 p.m.
USU will play two games on Monday, March 12 at Loyola Marymount. The first game will be against Harvard, first pitch is set for 12 p.m. Following its game with Harvard, the Aggies will take on Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m.
RANKED FOES AHEAD - The Aggies will face two ranked opponents in the Long Beach State Invitational this weekend. First up will be No. 24 North Carolina on Friday, March 9 at 3 p.m. (MT). North Carolina has a 14-5 record this season earned a marquee, 1-0, win last week against South Eastern Conference foe, No. 19 Auburn.
Also on tap for USU will be No. 17 UCLA, who is 14-6 this season and has been in the top 25 poll all four weeks of the season. The Bruins dropped games to No. 7 Georgia and Fresno State last week, Utah State dropped a game early against Georgia in the Red & Black Showcase in February and will play WAC foe Fresno State on April 6 and 7th.
Head Coach Carissa Millsap-Kalaba graduated from UCLA in 2000 and won a national championship with the Bruins in 1999.
TIME CHANGE - Saturday's games against Michgan State has been moved up to 10 a.m. (MT) from the originally scheduled time of 12:30 p.m.
SAVE-TASTIC - Junior pitcher Shelbi Tyteca tied DeAnna Earsley (1990-'93) and Kristie Skoglund (1984- `87) for the most career saves in an Aggie uniform, with seven. Tyteca recorded two saves last weekend that pushed her career saves total to seven and was her third of the season. In 2010, Tyteca also tied Skogland for the most saves in a single season, with four.
MASTERFUL MARQUEZ - Senior infielder Lindsey Marquez provided a driving force for the Utah State offense in the San Diego Classic I, as she was able to knock six RBI in five games. Marquez delivered three of those RBI with a home run against Long Beach State on Friday, which fueled USU to a 10-1 win. The win against LBSU was the largest-margin of victory this season for the team.
USU'S OFFENSIVE POWERPACK - Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro, junior infielder Christine Thomsen, freshman outfielder Hailey Froton and freshman utility player Jolene Koons have brought the offensive power to the Utah State this season. The four batsmen combine for 51 hits this season, which is more than half of the team total, 97. The quartet also have a combined 20 RBI, eight doubles and two home runs.
LIVE STATS - Fans can follow Utah State this weekend through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker and visiting the Utah State softball schedule page.
START OF SEASON 37 - The 2012 season marks the 37th year of softball at Utah State... The Aggies enter the season with a 817-948-3 (.462) overall record... USU has one college World Series appearance (1984, tied for 7th) and four NCAA Tournament appearances (1984, 1989, 1992, 1993)... Utah State won the 1980 and 1981 AIAW National Championships... This is USU's seventh year in the WAC.
THE LONG ROAD HOME - The Aggies home opener on March 30, will be the earliest it has been since 2009, when they hosted Boise State on March 20 in a three-game weekend showdown.
The Aggies have the latest home-opener in the WAC. USU also has the latest home-opener in the state of Utah, later than Weber State (March 13 vs. Dixie State), Utah (March 7 vs. BYU), BYU (March 20 vs. Idaho State), Utah Valley (March 28 vs. UMKC), Southern Utah (Feb. 20 vs. Utah State) and Dixie State (Feb. 9 vs. Cal St. San Bernardino).
The Aggies will not see the friendly confines of LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field until March 30, when they host WAC opponent Nevada in a three-game weekend series.
AGGIES IN THE WAC - As a team, Utah State is currently has the third fewest errors in the conference with 21 and also has the fourth-highest fielding percentage with a .955 percentage.
Junior infielder Christine Thomsen remains in the top 10 in batting average with a .391 average, she also ranks ninth in the WAC for hits per game with a 1.13 average. Thomsen is a hard out as she is currently fourth in the conference in least strikeouts per game, with a 0.19 average. Thomsen has 18 hits, six RBI, three doubles and a team-high 24 total bases to this point of the season.
Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton is tied with eight others for the 10th most doubles in the conference, she currently has four doubles. Froton is also tied for third in the WAC for sacrifice flies with two.
Senior infielder Kelley Kanershiro ranks second in the conference for hit by pitches. Kanershiro has been beaned eight times this season.
Sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida is second in the WAC for at bats per game, she is taking 3.56 at bats per game. Uchida is also fifth in the conference for plate appearances, with 3.75 plate appearances per game.
Junior pitchers Mandy Harmon and Shelbi Tyteca are both in the top 10 for innings pitched in the WAC. Tyteca ranks eighth as she has tossed 46 innings, while Harmon ranks 10th with 43 innings pitched. Harmon and Tyteca both rank in the top 10 for batter struck out as well. Harmon has 39 strikeouts which is the eighth most in the conference. Tyteca currently sits at 10 with 30 batters struck out.
TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE -
- Utah State is returning six starters from last year's squad and the heart of USU's batting line-up with Lenzora, Uchida and Kaneshiro. Kaneshiro is the all-time leading home run hitter in Aggie history.
- Utah State's infield will be anchored with the experience of two seniors, one junior and a sophomore.
- USU added eight freshmen for this year's campaign, who bring depth and athleticism to the squad. Five of the eight newcomers hail from California, bringing the total to 11 players from the Golden State.
SERIES HISTORY VS OPPONENTS -
Pittsburgh - This will be the first meeting between these two teams. Pittsburgh comes into the Long Beach State Tournament with a record of, 8-4.
No. 24 North Carolina - North Carolina leads the series, 1-0, as these two teams meet in 1999. This will be the second Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Utah State has faced this season (North Carolina State).
Michigan State - USU and Michigan State have never met before in softball. The Spartans are 5-12 this season.
Cal State Fullerton - The Titans lead the series over the Aggies, 41-26. CSF and Utah State met last season in Fullerton, where Cal State Fullerton defeated USU in a pitcher's duel, 2-1. The Aggies are 4-1 this season against Big West Conference opponents.
No. 16 UCLA - UCLA leads the all-time series, 15-7. UCLA enters the Long Beach State Invitational with a 14-6 record and have been ranked in the top 25 all season.
Harvard - Monday's match-up will be Utah State's second meeting with Harvard as the two teams met in 2006, Harvard claimed the win. Harvard leads the series, 1-0.
Loyola Marymount - USU is 0-4 all-time against Loyola Marymount. The Aggies last met the Lions in St. George, Utah on February 6, 2009. LMU won the game, 3-2.
Jessica Pistole joins Utah State as an assistant coach by way of William Jessup University, where she was the head softball coach for two seasons for the Warriors. Pistole was awarded the California Pacific Conference Coach of the Year in 2011.
Holly Pearce joins the Utah State softball coaching staff in as an assistant coach for the 2012 season. Prior to becoming a part of the Aggies' coaching staff, Pearce last coached at Los Alamitos High School in southern California, from 2009 to 2011.
- Carissa Millsap-Kalaba (Cal-uh-ba) comes to Utah State after five seasons as the head coach at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif... While at Biola, Millsap-Kalaba led the Eagles to five-straight playoff appearances, the longest streak in the program's 17-year history... Her teams also finished no lower than fifth in the tough Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), posting an overall mark of 59-61... During her tenure at Biola, she compiled an overall record of 143-93 (.606 winning percentage), averaging just under 29 wins per year.
- Carissa Millsap-Kalaba enters her third season at Utah State after a successful first season.
- During her third season Millsap-Kalaba guided USU to its best WAC finish since joining the conference in 2006, with an 8-13 record good for fifth in the conference.
- Under Millsap-Kalaba, 10 players earned academic all-WAC honors in 2011.
- After transferring from Hofstra University, Kalaba played two seasons at UCLA where the Bruins won the Women's College World Series title in 1999.
- During her tenure at Biola, she compiled an overall record of 143-93 (.606 winning percentage), averaging just under 29 wins per year.
UP NEXT - The Aggies will travel north for the first-time this season to play in the SpringHill Suites Invitational, March 16-18, in Boise, Idaho. Utah State will play games against Boise State, Portland State, Minnesota and Idaho State.
2012 WAC Preseason Poll