March 17, 2014
LOGAN, Utah - After over a month on the road, the Utah State softball team (8-13) returns to the Beehive State for five games this week. Before the home opener, the Aggies will take on in-state rival, Utah Valley in a doubleheader in Orem on Tuesday, March 18 at 1 p.m.
The Wolverines are 7-14 this season. Utah Valley is under the direction of first-year head coach Nikki Palmer who was an assistant coach at Utah State under Carissa Kalaba in 2012.
For the week of St. Patrick's Day, the Aggies will take on a pair of Green schools in Utah Valley and Colorado State. The Rams will be the Mountain West opener for Utah State. This is the Aggies' first season in the MW after eight in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Mountain West play three single games, beginning on Friday. So USU and CSU will meet up on Friday, March 21 at 3 p.m. The series will continue on Saturday, March 22 at 1 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, March 23 at 11 a.m. Colorado State is off to a hot start and stands in first place in the Mountain West standings with a 15-5 record, winning its last five games.
Last season, the Aggies and the Wolverines met twice with Utah Valley earning the tightly contested, 3-2, win in Logan. Overall, Utah State holds the 15-9 advantage over Utah Valley. The 7-14 Wolverines are led by Brianna Gatlin, who is hitting .345 this season with a team-leading 16 RBI. In the circle, Josi Summer has started 12 games so far this season with a 4-7 record and a 3.76 earned run average. She has 47 strikeouts so far this season.
Freshman Victoria Saucedo leads the team with six multiple-hit games. The rookie has five two-hit games and one three-high game so far this season. Fellow freshman Paxton Provost has four mulit-hit games this season. Saucedo, Provost and freshman Sydney Hart all have four muitiple-RBI games. Provost has two two-RBI games and three and one four-multiple RBI games. Both Hart and Saucedo have four two-RBI games. Saucedo and sophomore Libby Pederson are both on hot streaks having current six-game on base streaks.
The Aggies then host the Rams of CSU on Friday to open a three-game, three-day MW series at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field, with Friday's first pitch slated for 3 p.m. The teams return to the diamond on Saturday, March 22 at 1 p.m., before wrapping up the weekend on Sunday, March 23 at 11 a.m.
Fans can keep up with all of the Aggie softball action at www.utahstateaggies.com. Follow Utah State softball at http://twitter.com/USUSoftball, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUSoftball.
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