Weekly Softball Game Notes
April 9, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - QUICKLY - Utah State softball prepares for a busy week, playing six games in five days. USU opens the weeks action with its second bout of the season with Utah Valley with first pitch set to be delivered at 4 p.m. The Aggies rallied late to win the game, played just one week ago against the Wolverines 3-1 in nine innings. Following Tuesday's action, Utah State will play a doubleheader with rival, Weber State with action starting at 2 p.m. Concluding the weeks action will be a return to Western Athletic Conference play for USU, as it travels to Provo, Utah for a three-game weekend series against in-state rival BYU that opens with a single game on Friday night, April 13. First pitch in Provo is set for 6 p.m.
vs. Utah Valley (24-12-1, 5-3 PCSC) Logan, Utah Tuesday, April 10
Utah State's Weekly Schedule
SERIES HISTORY -
vs Utah Valley - The Aggies improved to 14-8 all-time against the Wolverines, as they took last weeks match-up, 3-1, in a nine-inning thriller. USU starting pitcher Dani Chaplin recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts to lead her squad to a come-from-behind victory. The Wolverines are 24-12-1 this season
vs Weber State - Utah State hold a 27-11 advantage in its all-time series history with its neighbor's to the south, Weber State. Last season, WSU took both games of a doubleheader, (7-4), (6-5), that was played in Ogden. The Wildcats are 16-21 so far this season.
at BYU - The Cougars hold a 32-24 all-time series lead over the Aggies. Utah State fell to Brigham Young last season in Provo, Utah, 9-0, in five innings. These two teams will play a three-game WAC series against one another for the first-time in program history. BYU joined the WAC for softball this because the West Coast Conference does not have softball. The Cougars are 24-11 on the year.
BUSY IN THE BEEHIVE - All six of Utah State's games this week will be played against teams within the Beehive State. The Aggies will play host to in-state foes Utah Valley and Weber State early in the week before heading to Provo, Utah to take on Brigham Young in a three-game WAC series. It will also be the first-time that USU has faced BYU with conference implications.
PACKING A PUNCH - Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro packed the offensive punch for the Aggies last week, as she hit two home runs last week with three RBI. Kaneshiro posted a .444 batting average to go along with a 1.111 slugging percentage and scored three of the teams five runs.
Kaneshiro delivered when her team needed her most on April 3. 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.
TERRIFIC THOMSEN - Junior first baseman Christine Thomsen is batting .388 this season, which currently ranks her fourth in the WAC for batting average. Thomsen has four- home runs this season with 15 RBI and six doubles.
Thomsen is also a hard out to get for opposing pitchers, as she has only struck out five times this season. She is only striking out once every 20.4 at bats and 0.14 times per game, landing her in second in the conference for strikeouts per game and ranks 42nd nationally.
DOMINANT DANI - Senior starting pitcher Dani Chaplin recorded her second win of the season on April 3 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.
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.
AGGIES IN THE WAC - Thomsen and Kaneshiro continue to be at the top of the WAC for offense. Thomsen has posted the fourth-best batting average in the conference, with a .388 average. Kaneshiro is nipping at her heals in sixth with a .375.
Kaneshiro is fourth in the WAC in slugging percentage, .625 to go along with the second-best on base percentage, .526. Thomsen also sits near the top in both of the categories, with a .583 slugging percentage (9th) and a .475 on base percentage (6th).
Kaneshiro has also been hit by 11 pitches on the year, which is the second-most of any batter in the WAC and ranks her 22nd in the nation for hit by pitches.
Utah State starting pitcher Mandy Harmon has struck out 73 batters this season, putting her with the eighth most of any pitcher in the conference. Harmon has also made 23 appearances this season, which ties her for the seventh in the conference and she started in 17 of those games which is also the seventh most of any pitcher.
The Aggies squad continues to utilize the small-ball game, executing 32 sacrifice bunts this season to generate offense. USU's 32 sac bunts in the most of any team in the WAC. Leading the way for sac bunts laid down, is Utah State sophomore infielder Allison Lenzora who leads the conference with seven.
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
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 (32-4) 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 had the latest home-opener in the WAC. USU also had 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).
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 - Following this weekend's action with BYU, the Aggie will once again play host to Idaho State on Wednesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. Utah State will then conclude the week with a three-game WAC series with San Jose State, starting on Friday, April 20.