USU Softball Heads to Beaver State to Take on Oregon State and Oregon

March 17, 2011

LOGAN, Utah - -

Saturday, March 19
Utah State (5-19, 0-0 WAC) at Oregon State (8-8)

Sunday, March 20 Utah State (5-19, 0-0 WAC) at No. 15 Oregon (14-2)

Utah State's Weekend Schedule 3/19 UTAH STATE at Oregon State (DH) 1:00/3:00 p.m. 3/20 UTAH STATE at Oregon (DH) 1:00/3:00 p.m.

QUICKLY - Utah State softball (5-19, 0-0 WAC) looks to snap a six-game losing streak when the Aggies head to the Beaver state for a pair of doubleheaders. USU will take on Oregon State on Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m. (MT). The Aggies will conclude the trip with another doubleheader against No. 15 Oregon on Sunday, March 20 at 1 p.m.

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KANESHIRO TOPS THE CHARTS - Senior shortstop Kelley Kaneshiro hit two home runs in Utah State's five-inning win over Cal State Northridge on Feb. 19 to move into first place in the USU record books in career home runs with 26. She was tied with Sandy Taylor (1997-2000) with 24 career home runs. This season, Kaneshiro leads the team with five home runs. She has nine RBI and 15 hits this season.

STELLAR IN THE CIRCLE - Sophomore pitcher Mandy Harmon has been outstanding in the circle for the Aggies the past two weeks during USU's long road trip to Arizona and California. Harmon dropped her ERA from 6.58 prior to the Wildcat Invitational to 4.83 after the Long Beach Airport Marriott Invitational. In those two weeks, she has struck out 20 and only 11 earned runs. Unfortunately, Harmon has seen only slight improvement in the win-loss column, improving from 2-9 to 4-13.

ONE-RUN GAMES - After having only one one-run game in its first 19 games of the year, the Aggies have had four in the last eight games. USU is 0-5 in one-run, still searching for that breakthrough win.

USU IN SEASON-OPENERS - The Aggies are 23-12 all-time in season-openers, defeating Maine in the season opener in 2010, 7-5... In 2009, USU lost to No. 12 Tennessee, 11-3, in the first game of the 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.

TOPPING .300 - Utah State has three players hitting over .300 through 24 games this season. Freshman outfielder Kassy Uchida leads the team, hitting .328 this season with a team-leading 19 hits. Senior utility player Shasta Tyteca is second in hitting .326 with nine runs scored. Freshman outfielder Krista Bava is the second USU newcomer to hit over .300 with a .314 batting average, playing in 21 of the Aggies' 24 games this season. COACH'S OPENERS - Carissa Millsap-Kalaba is the eighth Aggie softball head coach and became the fifth USU head coach to win a opening game at the helm of the Aggies, last season. USU is 5-3 in head coach openers.

LIVE STATS - Fans can follow Utah State this week through the USU web site at via GameTracker and visiting the Utah State softball schedule page.

SEASON 36 - The 2011 season marks the 36th year of softball at Utah State... The Aggies enter the season with a 802-905-3 (.470) 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 sixth year in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

PEARLY ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Utah State is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Aggies' 1981 AIAW National Championship. USU won back-to-back titles in 1980 and 1981.

HOME OPENER - The Aggies do not open home action until April 1, hosting New Mexico State in a three-game Western Athletic Conference weekend series. USU will be one day earlier than last season when it began home play on April 2.

ADMISSION - All games at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field are free admission to the public.

BE HOME LATE - When the Aggies open home play on April 1, it will be the second-straight season that USU's first home game was in April. It is the 26th time in the 36 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 (March 22 vs. Utah State), Utah (March 11 vs. Utah Valley), BYU (March 24 vs. Weber State), Utah Valley (March 29 vs. BYU), Southern Utah (March 9 vs. Utah) and Dixie State (Feb. 26 vs. Southern Utah). The Aggies are the only Utah State to not open home play against another Beehive State opponent.

AGAINST THE BEST - Then-No. 4 Arizona was the third ranked team that the Aggies have faced this season. USU is 0-4 against ranked teams with two losses to UCLA and falling to both Arizona and Stanford. All three ranked teams that USU has faced have come from the Pac-10 Conference. This week, Utah State will take on No. 15 Oregon. The Ducks will be the fourth ranked team from the Pac-10 that the Aggies will have faced this season.

AGGIES IN THE WAC - Several Aggies have made their way into the top 10 in the WAC statistics. Senior shortstop Kelley Kaneshiro is seventh in the league in slugging percentage (.654) and on-base percentage (.439). Sophomore Mandy Harmon has moved up to seventh in strike outs with 50. As a team, Utah State is third in the WAC in fielding with a .964 fielding percentage. STREAKING AGGIES - Senior Kelley Kaneshiro had her season-high eight-game hitting streak come to an end against Minnesota on March 4. There are five different Aggies who have had hitting streaks of four games or more, including Kassy Uchida's six-game hitting streak.

TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE - * Junior Ashley Ventura leads the team with six mulitple-hit games, while senior Joreigh Landers and freshman Kassy Uchida both have five. Freshman Krista Bava has four.

* For the second-straight season, Utah State took on the defending Women's College World Series champion. In 2010, the Aggies defeated WCWS champion, Washington, 7-4, in San Diego. This season, USU faced head coach Carissa Millsap-Kalaba's alma mater, UCLA two times. The Bruins captured the 2010 WCWS defeating Arizona. UCLA topped USU 19-1 in five innings in Los Angeles and defeated USU 13-3 in five innings in Las Vegas.

* Utah State will take on at least six teams that were ranked in the preseason National Fastpitch Softball Coaches' Association (NFCA) top-25 poll, including the defending champion, UCLA Bruins, who were No. 1 to begin the season. The Aggies will also take on Pac-10 opponents, Stanford, Arizona and Oregon. Utah State will also face Western Athletic Conference rival Hawai`i and in-state foe BYU, which were ranked No. 8 and No. 16, respectively to start the season.

* Both Tina Ferguson and Kelley Kaneshiro wrote their names in the Utah State single-season record books last season. Kaneshiro had 35 RBI which places her tied for fourth on the single-season RBI list. Ferguson's 32 RBI is tied for seventh in single-season RBI. Kaneshiro's .602 slugging percentage is sixth.

* The Aggies welcome 11 new players, including freshman Nichole McDonald, who is the sister of senior outfielder Megan McDonald. USU has eight freshmen and three junior transfers.

SERIES HISTORY VS OPPONENTS - Oregon State - The Beavers hold a 8-5 series lead over Utah State. The last time the teams met was in 2008. Despite two-run home run by Kelley Kaneshiro, Oregon State defeated Utah State 11-3 in six innings on March, 15 2008. Even though the Beavers went 1-1 last weekend at the Husky Softball Classic, it was a great weekend for Oregon State pitching. The two starters, Marina Demore and Tina Andreana, combined for 14 2/3 innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, four walks and 20 strikeouts. The Beavers have lost three of their last four games and had two games cancelled last week.

Oregon - The Ducks have a 13-6 series record against the Aggies. The last time the two teams played was in 2007. They were scheduled to play in 2008, but the doubleheader was cancelled due to inclement weather. In 2007, Oregon swept Utah State 8-0 in a doubleheader. Oregon is coming off one of its most successful opening months ever, the Ducks have been ranked top 15 nationally all spring, and are 4-1 against top-20 teams so far. Oregon is led by Christie Nieto who is hitting .448 this season with 12 RBI. In the circle, Jessica Moore holds a stellar 7-1 record with a 0.91 ERA.


* 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 second season at Utah State after a successful first season.

* During her first season at the helm of the Aggie squad, USU went 20-30, winning twice as many games than the 2009 team. USU ended the season 5-14 in Western Athletic Conference action. The Aggies had a marquee win on Feb. 19 defeating then-No. 1 and defending Women's College World Series champion, Washington, 7-4.

* Under Millsap-Kalaba, eight players earned Academic all-WAC honors in 2010.

* 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.

* The former Carissa Millsap is married to Joe Kalaba, who is the travel coordinator for the Utah State Athletics Department.

UP NEXT - Utah State will play its first game in the Beehive State next week when the Aggies take on Weber State on Tuesday, March 22. The Aggies will then make the long trek to Honolulu to take on Hawai`i March 25-26.



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