Utah State Hosts Fresno State in a Three-Game Series Beginning Friday
April 21, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - -
Friday-Saturday, April 22-23 Fresno State (26-11, 10-2 WAC) at Utah State (10-35, 4-8 WAC)QUICKLY - Utah State softball (10-35, 4-8 WAC) will host second-place Fresno State in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series, beginning with a doubleheader on Friday, April 22 at 1 p.m. The teams will conclude the series with a single game on Saturday, April 23 at 12 p.m. prior to the Aggie football team's annual Spring Game at 2 p.m. at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.
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 eight home runs and now has 30 career long balls. The senior added a pair of home runs against Boise State as the Aggies won the series with the Broncos.
BAVA EARNS HONOR - Freshman outfielder Krista Bava was named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week. This is the first honor for Bava this season and she is the first softball player to be honored this year. Bava led Utah State to a 2-2 record last week winning two of three games against Boise State (W 4-3, L 1-10, W 7-6) and losing to Idaho State (6-1). The freshman reached base safely in all four games and currently is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak. In USU's 6-1 loss to Idaho State, the freshman reached on a walk as a pinch hitter. In Utah State's 4-3 win against Boise State, she went 1-for-1 with two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base, and scored the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth. In its 10-1 loss to BSU, she was 1-for-3. And in the series finale against the Broncos, Bava was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI as her single in the bottom of the sixth put the Aggies up for good.
FRIENDLY CONFINES - Utah State won its first game at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field on Friday, April 15 with a 4-3 win over Boise State. USU is now 2-5 at home this season with seven home games remaining.
LAST TIME OUT - Three pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout as the Utah State softball team defeated Idaho State, 3-0, Wednesday in Chubbuck, Idaho. The Aggies took on the rain and wind along with the Bengals as USU dealt with rain off and on all game.
The win was the first of the season against Idaho State as the Bengals defeated the Aggies in Logan on April 13 and in Tucson on March 5.
Utah State has now won two-straight games and three of their last four game. The Aggies improve to 10-35 overall, while the Bengals fall to 7-28 with the loss.
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is 1-5 in Western Athletic Conference openers since joining the league in 2006. This season, the Aggies fell to No. 21 Hawai`i, 5-2, in Honolulu on March 25. Last season, USU won its first WAC opener when the Aggies defeated Nevada 12-4 in six innings. In 2009, the Aggies lost to WAC-newcomers Boise State, 2-0 in Logan. The Aggies have taken on Fresno State twice in WAC openers in its first two years in the league.
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 1-5SISTERS AND TEAMMATES - The Aggies have two sets of sisters on the team this season. Shasta and Shelbi Tyteca and Megan and Nichole McDonald both wear the blue and white for Utah State this season. Senior Shasta Tyteca is one of the Aggies' leading hitters with a .270 batting average, while sophomore pitcher Shelbi Tyteca has started 17 games in the circle this season. Senior Megan McDonald has started 32 games for USU, while freshman Nichole McDonald has seen time in 10 games.
BATS COMING ALIVE - Utah State had an offensive surge the last few weeks of conference play. In WAC only games, the Aggies are third in the league in hitting with a .293 average. Freshman utility player Kassy Uchida is tied for fourth in WAC only games in base hits with 18. Uchida is seventh in hitting in conference games with a .429 average, while fellow freshman outfielder Krista Bava is 10th, hitting .394.
AROUND THE WAC - Utah State has nine WAC games remaining. The Aggies are currently fifth in the league ahead of Louisiana Tech ( 3-9), San Jose State (2-10) and Nevada (1-11). The top six teams advance to the WAC Tournament in Fresno, Calif. May 11-15. New Mexico State still holds the top spot in the WAC (11-1), followed by Fresno State (10-2), Boise State (9-3) and Hawai`i (8-4), respectively.
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.
SHINING SENIORS - Senior outfielder Joreigh Landers is having a stellar senior season. She is hitting .274 this season and is second in hits with 31. In WAC only games, she is third on the team in batting with a .387 average. She is one of two Aggies two have started all 12 WAC games along with fellow senior Kelley Kaneshiro.
SERIES HISTORY VS OPPONENTS - FRESNO STATE - Fresno State is 26-11 overall and 10-2 in WAC action. The Buldogs are second in the WAC behind leader New Mexico State. Utah State is 10-24 against Fresno State. Last season in Fresno, the Bulldogs swept all three games of the series from the Aggies. Andrea Ortega leads Fresno State offensively with a .316 batting average. She has 14 RBI and 15 runs scored this season. Michelle Moses who has also started 23 games in the circle for Fresno State, also leads the team in RBI with 26. Moses is 11-9 this season as a pitcher with 151 strikeouts which places her third in the conference. Mackenzie Oakes is 14-2 for the Bulldogs this season with a stellar 1.96 ERA.
STREAKING AGGIES - Freshmen Kassy Uchida and Krista Bava are both in the midst of seven-game hitting streaks. The only longer streak this season was a eight-game streak by Kelley Kaneshiro that was halted against Idaho State on April 13.
FANTASTIC FRESHMEN - Utah State has two players hitting over .300 this season and both are freshmen. Freshman Kassy Uchida leads the team hitting .350 this season. She leads the team with 43 hits this season. Fellow newcomer Krista Bava is hitting .309 this season with t30 hits and 13 RBI.
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 through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker and visiting the Utah State softball schedule page.
GOODBYE LAREE - The matriarch and namesake of Utah State softball, LaRee Johnson died on March 14. LaRee enjoyed contributing to many local entities. Her favorite was the softball field at Utah State University which bears her and her husband's name. She loved her Utah State Aggies. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Utah State Women's Softball Program.
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.
ADMISSION - All games at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field are free admission to the public.
BE HOME LATE - When the Aggies opened home play on April 1, it was the second-straight season that USU's first home game was in April. It was 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 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 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).
AGAINST THE BEST - Then-No. 21 Hawai`i was the fifth ranked team that the Aggies have faced this season. USU is 0-8 against ranked teams with two losses to UCLA and falling to Oregon, Arizona and Stanford. USU also lost three games to the Rainbow Wahine. Four of the five ranked teams that USU has faced have come from the Pac-10 Conference. The Rainbow Wahine were the first ranked team not from the Pac-10 Conference that USU has faced this season.
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).
AGGIES IN THE WAC - Several Aggies have made their way into the top 10 in the WAC statistics. Senior outfielder Joreigh Landers is tied for fifth in doubles in the WAC with nine. Fellow senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro is first in the WAC in one painful category, hit by pitches with 11. Sophomore pitcher Mandy Harmon is tied for first in appearances with 34, while sophomore pitcher Shelbi Tyteca is third in WAC games only with 11 batters struck out looking.
TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE - * Freshman Kassy Uchida leads the team with 12 multiple-hit games, including one four-hit games. Senior Joreigh Landers is second with nine multiple-hit games. Junior Ashley Ventura, senior Kelley Kaneshiro and Landers all lead the team with three multiple-RBI games.
* 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.
* 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. k 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 - Following the games this week, Utah State will host in-state rival Utah on Tuesday, April 26 at 3 p.m. The Aggies will then travel to Nevada for a three-game series with the Wolf Pack April 29-30.