USU Softball Heads to College Station for the Aggie Invitational
March 10, 2010
RENO, Nev. -
Utah State (8-5, 0-0 WAC) at the Aggie Invitational Friday, March 12 - Sunday, March 14 College Station, Texas Aggies Softball Complex Utah State's Weekend Schedule Fri., 3/12 UTAH STATE vs. No. 24 Texas A&M, 1 p.m. (MT) Fri., 3/12 UTAH STATE vs. North Dakota State, 10:15 a.m. (MT) Sat., 3/13 UTAH STATE vs. Wright State, 8:00 a.m. (MT) Sat., 3/13 UTAH STATE at No. 24 Texas A&M, 3:15 p.m. (MT) Sun., 3/14 UTAH STATE vs. Wright State, 8:00 a.m. (MT)QUICKLY - Utah State softball (8-5, 0-0 WAC) hits the road for its third-straight road tournament, playing at the Aggie Invitational in College Station, Texas. The Aggies open tournament action on Friday, March 12 taking on the other Aggies of Texas A&M, who are ranked No. 24 in the NFCA poll. USU will also take on North Dakota State on Friday. USU is 1-1 against the Bison this season.
SERIES HISTORY VS OPPONENTS -
North Dakota State - Utah State had never faced North Dakota State until this season. Now the Aggies are 1-1 against the Bison after facing them twice at the Colorado State Classic last week. USU and NDSU will open the tournament at 11:15 a.m. (MT) on Friday, March 12. Melissa Chmielewski is hitting .464 with five home runs and 33 RBI. She has hit safely in 15 of 18 games this season. Chmielewski has scored 13 runs, clubbed eight doubles and received 10 walks in 18 games.
No. 24 Texas A&M - The Aggies improved to 17-6 with a doubleheader sweep of Texas A&M Corpus Christi on March 9. Texas A&M will be the first of two Aggie teams that USU will take on this season. USU will play a three-game series with the Aggies of New Mexico State April 30-May 1. Meagan May leads the team in hitting with a .441 batting average and 29 RBI.
Wright State - This is the first meeting between Wright State and Utah State. The Raiders are 6-10 this season. The Raiders broke a three-game losing streak with a win against Mississippi Valley State. China Frost leads the Raiders with a .442 batting average. Kristen Bradshaw is second on the team with a batting average of .375.
COACH'S OPENERS - Carissa Millsap-Kalaba is the eighth Aggie softball head coach and became the fifth USU head coach to win their opening game at the helm of the Aggies with a 7-5 win against Maine on Feb. 12. USU is now 5-3 in head coach openers... Kalaba joined John Horan in 1976, Lloydene Searle in 1980, Pam McCreesh in 1998 and Candi Letts in 2007 for winning their first game for USU.
AGGIES DEFEAT NO. 1 WASHINGTON - Utah State softball showed no fear in upsetting the reigning NCAA Women's College World Series champions and current No. 1 Washington, 7-4, Friday morning in the opening game of the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego.
Freshman Kali Cancelosi's three RBI led the Aggies to their biggest upset since defeating No. 2 Texas A&M in College Station in 1987. In that battle, USU shut out Texas A&M, 1-0. Senior Kate Greenough was in the circle for the Aggies Friday, improving to 2-1 with the win, while freshman Shelbi Tyteca earned her second save of the year. With the win USU improves to 5-1 this season, the Aggies' best start since 1990.
The last time that the Aggies had even faced a No. 1 team was 1998 when USU fell to No. 1 Arizona, 19-2. Utah State also fell to No. 1 Arizona, 8-0, in 1997. The last time that Utah State defeated a ranked team was a 2-0 win over No. 15 Oregon State in Corvallis in 2008.
USU IN SEASON-OPENERS - The Aggies are 23-12 all-time in season-openers, snapping a two-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over Maine at the Red Desert Classic in St. George last week... USU lost to No. 1 Tennessee, 11-3, in the first game of the 2009 season... Utah State lost the 2008 opener, 10-1 vs. UC Davis but won the first game of the 2007 season, 11-2 over Southern Utah.
HOT HITTING - USU has four batters who are hitting over .300 led by senior Rachel Evans who is hitting .323 with 10 hits and five RBI in her first 13 games of the season. Redshirt-sophomore Kelley Kaneshiro is hitting .308, while junior Joreigh Landers is hitting .306. Freshman Tina Ferguson is hitting .300 with seven RBI.
SEASON 35 - The 2010 season marks the 35th year of softball at Utah State... The Aggies enter the season with a 782-875-3 (.472) 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 fifth year in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
PEARLY ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Utah State is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Aggies' 1980 AIAW National Championship.
HOME OPENER - The Aggies do not open home action until April 2, hosting Nevada in a three-game Western Athletic Conference weekend series.
BE HOME LATE - USU's April 2 home-opener is the latest home-opener since 2007's April 3 opener... It is the 25th time in the 35 years of Utah State softball that the Aggies' first home game is in the month of April:
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 (making the program's return debut April 1 vs. Nevada), Utah (March 30 vs. Southern Utah), BYU (March 31 vs. Utah State), Utah Valley (March 13 vs. College of Idaho), Southern Utah (March 12 vs. South Dakota State) and Dixie State (Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah).
TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE - -- USU returns nine players from last year's team, six of whom are seniors.
-- The Aggies also welcome back the versatile Kelley Kaneshiro, who missed the bulk of the 2009 season with an injury. Kaneshiro was the top batter for USU in 2008, hitting .359 in 44 games. Kaneshiro has found her stride, hitting .308 this season. She already has a team-leading four home run this season.
-- The Aggies have three players with at least three multiple RBI games this season. Nicole (Rupp) Tindall leads the way with four multiple RBI games, including one four RBI game. Kelley Kaneshiro and Emily Reilly both have three multiple RBI games.
-- Senior Emily Reilly is having a strong start to her final season as an Aggie. Reilly is hitting .270 this season with 10 hits and 10 RBI. Last season, she only had eight RBI the whole season.
-- The Aggies have stolen 16 bases in the first 13 games. Junior Joreigh Landers is 3-for-4 on the base paths this season., while freshman Shelbi Tyteca is a perfect 3-for-3. USU has only been caught on the base paths four times this season.
-- Redshirt-sophomore Kelley Kaneshiro enters the season either on or within striking distance of some USU career records, as she is sixth on the career home run list with 14. Jennifer Power (1991-94) and Breanne Smith (1999-2002) are tied for fourth with 18 HR's each.
-- Kaneshiro currently has a .350 batting average in 157 career at bats, just passing the required minimum of 150 at bats to qualify for the career list. The career record is .361 by Kristie Skoglund (1984-87).
-- Senior outfielder Nicole (Rupp) Tindall enters the season tied for fifth on USU's career stolen bases list with 27 swipes, tying with Mary Lou Ramm (1980-83). After 13 games, she is now tied with Shontinese Huey (1993-96) who has the No. 4 spot with 28 stolen bases. Fellow senior outfielder Emily Reilly is tied for sixth in stolen bases with 27 with Ramm.
-- Reilly and Tindall are also closing in on the career sacrifice hits list as Reilly has 20 and Tindall has 17. There is a three-way tie at No. 9 with 25 sac hits, done most recently by Heather Curtis (1999-2002).
-- Utah State had nine student-athletes earn academic all-WAC honors last season, and six return this season in senior outfielders Emily Reilly and Nicole (Rupp) Tindall, senior catcher Simone Hubbard, senior infielder Rachel Evans, senior pitcher Kate Greenough.
-- 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.
-- Under Millsap-Kalaba, the Eagles ended the 2009 season with a record of 19-21, advancing to the GSAC Tournament as the fifth-seed, falling to Azusa Pacific. Biola was third in the conference with a 1.84 ERA and fourth in batting with a .273 team average.
-- In her first four seasons at Biola, the Eagles averaged 31 wins per year. In 2005, she led the Eagles to a 34-16 mark and the team's first NAIA Region II appearance in three seasons. In 2006, she led Biola to a 32-14 record, which was third-best season in the program's history.
-- She had three players earn all-GSAC honors in 2009, as well as two GSAC scholar-athletes.
-- In addition to coaching at Biola, Millsap-Kalaba has coached the Jets Gold U18 team from 2002-2009. She was also the head coach at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Calif., from 2000-04.
-- After transferring from Hofstra University, Kalaba played two seasons at UCLA where the Bruins won the Women's College World Series title in 1999.
-- Her husband, Joe, was an assistant coach for her at Biola, and is now the travel coordinator for the Utah State Athletics Department.
UP NEXT - The Aggies will conclude tournament play at the Sacramento State Tournament March 19-21. USU will take on Iona, host Sacramento State for the second time this season, Colorado State. The Rams defeated USU in Fort Collins, 5-3, at the Colorado State Classic on March 6. USU Softball Picked to Finish Eighth in WAC Preseason Softball Poll
Utah State softball was selected eighth in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll, earning seven points.
The WAC softball coaches selected Fresno State to win the 2010 WAC regular-season crown. This is the 13th time in the last 15 years that the Bulldogs have been the preseason favorite to take the crown.
The coaches also voted on 2010 preseason award winners. Fresno State junior Morgan Melloh earned preseason Pitcher of the Year honors for the second-straight season, while Louisiana Tech senior shortstop Amberly Waits earned preseason Player of the Year honors.
Fresno State took the top spot in the preseason poll with 48 points, including six of the eight first-place votes. Nevada edged the Rainbow Wahine for second place with 41 points to Hawai`i's 34. The Wolf Pack also earned one of the first place votes. New Mexico State was picked fourth with 29 points and the final first-place vote. Louisiana Tech was just one point behind in fifth place with 28 points. San Jose State was picked to finish sixth with 19 points, while Boise State was picked to finish seventh with 18 points. The Aggies round out the poll with seven points.
2010 WAC Preseason Poll Rank Team (1st-Place Votes) Points 1. Fresno State (6) 48 2. Nevada (1) 41 3. Hawai`i (1) 39 4. New Mexico State (1) 29 5. Louisiana Tech 28 6. San Jose State 19 7. Boise State 18 8. UTAH STATE 7