Utah State Softball Continues WAC Play In Fresno
April 5, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. -
vs. Fresno State (24-15, 4-1 WAC) Fresno, California Friday, April 6 - Saturday, April 7
4/3 UTAH STATE at Utah Valley W, 3-1 (9) 4/6 UTAH STATE vs. Fresno State 2 p.m. (MT) 4/7 UTAH STATE vs. Fresno State (DH) 4 p.m (MT)
QUICKLY - Utah State (11-22, 2-4 WAC) will now turn its attention to Western Athletic Conference powerhouse, Fresno State. The Bulldogs (24-15, 4-1 WAC) currently hold the second spot in the WAC standings. Fresno State will play two games against UNLV on Wednesday before focusing in on this weekend's conference series with the Aggies.
LAST TIME OUT - Utah State softball rallied to a come-from-behind win on Tuesday against Beehive State-foe, Utah Valley. USU trailed 1-0 entering the top of the seventh inning when senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro took a pitch and deposited it over the center field fence to tie the game.
In extra innings USU once again rallied its offense to score two runs in the top of the ninth frame to secure the win for the Aggies.
SERIES HISTORY -
at Fresno State - USU is 10-27 (.270) all-time against Fresno State. The Bulldogs swept the three-game series last season in Logan. The Aggies dropped a heartbreaker in the series finale to Fresno State, 16-12. Utah State has not defeated Fresno State in softball since joining the WAC in 2006.
DOMINANT DANI - Senior starting pitcher Dani Chaplin recorded her second win of the season on Tuesday in thrilling fashion, as she lead Utah State to a 3-1 extra innings win over in-state foe, Utah Valley.
Chaplin pitched all nine innings, striking out 11 batters and only surrendering three-hits. Chaplins 11 strikeouts were the most recorded by a USU pitcher this season.
LATE GAME HEROICS - Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro delivered in when her team needed her most on Tuesday. With her squad trailing 1-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Kaneshiro blasted a solo-home run over the centerfield fence, tying the game and forcing extra innings.
In extras, Kaneshiro came up big once again, as she hit a single to advance a runner into the scoring position and would eventually come around to score the teams third run of the game.
HARMON AT IT AGAIN - Junior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon delivered her second complete game shutout of the season on March 31, only eight days after pitching her first of the season at Louisiana Tech on March 23. Harmon allowed two hits to the Wolf Pack, while striking out five in her outing. For the weekend, Harmon posted a 2.19 ERA in the three-game series, striking out 10.
TERRIFIC THOMSEN - Junior first baseman Christine Thomsen is batting .391 this season, which currently ranks her fourth in the WAC for batting average. In the six WAC games played, Thomsen is batting .400 with two of her four home runs this season coming in conference play. Thomsen leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (15), slugging percentage (.598) and in hits (36).
Thomsen is also a hard out to get for opposing pitchers, as she has only struck out five times this season. Thomsen is only striking out 0.16 times per game, which gives her the third-best mark in the WAC. Thomsen strikes out once every 18.4 at bats.
POWERING UP - As a team, the Aggies came into last weekend's series against Nevada with 10 home runs in 29 games. Utah State hitters found the sweet spot however, belting three homers in three games against the Wolf Pack with Hailey Froton, Christine Thomsen and Kassandra Uchida going deep. Kelley Kaneshiro pushed the streak to four-straight games with a home run with her solo-shot against the Wolverines on April 13.
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 in the San Diego Classic I, 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. Tyteca's three saves is also the ninth most in the country.
UTAH STATE IN WAC OPENERS - With its win against Louisiana Tech on Friday, Utah State improved to, 2-5 in WAC openers since joining the league in 2006. Senior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon propelled the USU to its WAC opener win on March 23, by tossing a complete game shutout. In the opener of the 2010 season, USU won its first WAC opener when the Aggies defeated Nevada 12-4 in six innings.
2012 W LA Tech, 4-0 2011 L Hawai`i, 2-5 2010 W Nevada, 12-4 (6) 2009 L Boise State, 0-2 2008 L Nevada, 1-12 (5) 2007 L Fresno State, 0-8 (5) 2006 L Fresno State, 2-3 Total 2-5
AGGIES AGAINST THE TOP TIER - The Aggies have taken on three ranked opponents this season in Georgia, North Carolina and UCLA. Georgia is currently ranked No. 9, North Carolina is ranked at No. 23. UCLA is sitting at No. 13 in the country. WAC powerhouse Hawai'i (29-3) continues to climb in the standings and is sitting just being UCLA at No. 15. Utah State will host the Raindow Wahine in its regular season series finale on Saturday, May 5.
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.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - USU rolled out the blue carpet last weekend, as it hosted its first home-series of the season, taking on WAC foe Nevada. Utah State took the final game of the series to capture its first home win of the season.
The Aggie's home opener on March 30, was 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).
AGGIES IN THE WAC - Thomsen ranks fourth in the WAC for batting average, with a .391 average. Thomsen also ranks seventh in slugging percentage in the conference and fifth in on base percentage, with a .477 average. She is also tied for ninth for hits, with 36 hits this season.
Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro has been hit by a pitch nine times this season, which is the second most of any player on the conference.
Sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida has made 110 plate appearances this season which is eighth in the WAC and is averaging 3.34 at bats a game, landing her fourth in the conference.
Junior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon has fanned 65 batters on the year, giving her the seventh most in the WAC. In conference games, Harmon is eighth in ERA, with a 2.41 mark.
As a team, Utah State has executed 20 sacrifice bunts this season, which is the second in the WAC.
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, who 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.
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 - Utah State will have a busy week next week, as it prepares to host Utah Valley on Tueday, April 10 at 4 p.m. Followed with a match-up with Weber State on Wednesday, April 11 at 4 p.m. Concluding the weeks action, USU will travel to Provo, Utah to take on in-state rival BYU in a three-game weekend series April 13-14.
2012 WAC Preseason Poll The eight WAC coaches voted on their preseason poll and all-WAC teams. Coaches could not vote for their own team or players. Rank Team (first-place votes) Points 1. Fresno State (3) 44 2. Hawai'i (2) 42 3. New Mexico State(2) 37 4. Brigham Young(1) 35 5. Nevada 20 6. Louisiana Tech 17 7. San Jose State 17 8. Utah State 12