Weekly Softball Game Notes
April 23, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State Aggies (15-30, 3-12 WAC)
vs. Idaho State (9-31, 5-11 PCSC) Pocatello, Idaho / Logan, Utah Tuesday, April 24 - Wednesday, April 25
QUICKLY - Utah State captured its third Western Athletic Conference win on Saturday as it rallied twice to defeat San Jose State, 6-4. USU prepares for a busy week as it is set to take on border-foe Idaho State twice this week in a home-and-home set with Tuesday's game being played in Pocatello, Idaho and Wednesday's game taking place in Logan, Utah. This week's two games will be the first meeting between the two teams after the two previously scheduled match-ups were not played due to rain, the first being cancelled on March, 18 and the other being postponed on April 18.
Following Wednesday's action, the Aggies will look to climb up the WAC standings in a three-game weekend series with New Mexico State. Action in Las Cruces, N.M., opens with a game Friday, April 27 and will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 28.
Friday's game will be televised through AggieVision and will be available to fans on Altitude Sports or ESPN3.com. Altitude Sports can be found on Comcast Ch. 61/DirectTv Ch. 681/Dish Network Ch. 410 in Cache Valley - contact local listings for more information.
5-IN-3 - The Aggies have a busy week ahead as it prepares to play five games in three different states. Utah State will open the week on Tuesday in Pocatello, Idaho to take on Idaho State. In a short turn around the Bengals will travel to Logan, Utah to play another game on Wednesday with USU. The Aggies will then travel to Las Cruces, N.M. for a three-game series with New Mexico State.
SERIES HISTORY -
vs. Idaho State - Utah State holds a 24-8 all-time record against its border-foe Idaho State. Last season the Bengals took the first two match-ups of the season before the Aggies captured a 3-0 win at Idaho State on April 20. ISU enters Wednesday's match-up having split a DH against Weber State on Monday. Utah State was supposed to face Idaho State earlier this year on March 18 in the SpringHill Suites Tournament in Boise, Idaho and was schedule to play a game last week in Logan that was rescheduled for Wednesday, April 25 due to heavy rain fall.
vs. New Mexico State - USU has split the all-time series with the Crimson counterparts from New Mexico, 45-45, in the 90 games the two teams have matched-up against each other in softball. Last season New Mexico State swept its three-game WAC series in Logan, two of the game were decided by two-runs or less. The reigning WAC Champions, NMSU is currently sitting in eighth in the WAC standings, having gone 1-14 in conference action.
NARROWING THE GAP - Junior first baseman Christine Thomsen has slowly been rising to the top of the WAC for batting average and has worked her way into having the second-best batting average in the conference. Thomen entered last week's action with a .412 batting average, putting her second behind BYU's Delany Willard (.452). Thomsen went 6-10 from the plate in her three-games of action, pushing her batting average to an impressive .426, raising her average .014 points.
In WAC games, Thomsen leads the conference with a .457 average which is .010 points better than Willard in WAC only action. Her 21 hits in conference games is also the most of any batter in the conference.
Thomsen is leading her squad in hits (55), total bases (78), slugging percentage (.605), runs scored (27) and doubles (9). She has also posted four home runs on the year and one triple.
Thomsen is also one of the hardest players to get out at the plate, she is only striking out once every 18.43 at bats or 0.16 strikeouts per game. Her 0.16 strikeouts per game is tied for the fewest in the conference with Louisiana Tech's Janna Frandrup.
BREAKING OUT - Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton continues to emerge as an impact offensive player for Utah State. Froton has the fourth-highest batting average on the team with a .284 average, which puts her just behind sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida (.285).
The standout freshman leads the team with 22 RBI and has the second-most home runs this season with five, putting her one behind all-time home run leader Kelley Kaneshiro, who has six on the year.
Froton delivered two of her dingers last week against WAC-foe San Jose State, with both coming off Spartan starter Amanda Pridmore. In Saturday's come-from-behind win, Froton put her team up for good with a two-run blast over the right field fence in the fifth inning. Pridmore entered the game in relief to face Froton, it was the first pitch Pridmore had thrown in the game that Froton homered off of.
SAVE-TASTIC - Junior pitcher Shelbi Tyteca made history on Wednesday, April 11 as she passed DeAnna Earsley (1990-93) and Kristie Skoglund (1984-87) for the most career saves in an Aggie uniform as she recorded her eighth career save against Weber State. She is also ranked seventh nationally for saves and is leading the WAC in saves.
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 most in the WAC. Tyteca also tied the record for most saves in a season with four, which is a record she hold with Skoglund.
April 11th's game was also Tyteca's first appearance since March 17 against Portland State and has been battling injury ever since.
CLOSING IN - Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro is closing in on another milestone in her career as an Aggie. Kaneshiro has taken sole possession of the second most RBI in Utah State softball history with 107 career RBI. The all-time RBI leader is Sandy Taylor (1997-00) who has 112 career RBI, putting Kaneshiro five RBI away from tying the record and six from breaking it.
Kaneshiro ranks first all-time in home runs (38), slugging percentage (.622) and in hit by pitches (36). She ranks second all-time in runs scored (95) and is third all-time for total bases (281).
AGGIES IN THE WAC - Christine Thomsen continues to be an offensive standout in the WAC, ranking second in batting average (.426), second in on-base percentage (.497), third in hits, (55) and fifth in slugging percentage (.605). She has also been one of the hardest batters to strike out, striking out 0.16 times per game, tying her with Janna Frandrup for hardest batter to strikeout in the WAC.
Kelley Kaneshiro has been hit by 12 pitches this season, which is the second-most of any batter in the WAC.
Junior pitcher Shelbi Tyteca leads the conference in saves with four this season.
Junior pitcher Mandy Harmon has struck out 92 batters this season, which is seventh in the WAC. Harmon has also struck out 23 batters looking, which ranks sixth most conference.
UTAH STATE IN WAC OPENERS - With its win against Louisiana Tech on March 23, 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 four ranked opponents this season in Georgia, LSU, North Carolina and UCLA. Georgia is currently ranked No. 12, LSU moved into the top 25 last week and sits at No. 23, while North Carolina is ranked at No. 21 and UCLA is sitting at No. 15 in the country. WAC powerhouse Hawai'i (35-4) continues to climb in the standings and is sitting just in front of UCLA at No. 14. Utah State will host the Raindow Wahine in its regular season series finale on Saturday, May 5.
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.
UP NEXT - Following this week's action, Utah State will wrap-up its regular season schedule with a three-game weekend series against WAC powerhouse, No. 14 Hawaii in Logan. The series is set to open on Saturday, May 5 with a single game starting at 2 p.m. USU's home finale will be a doubleheader on Sunday, May 6 with first pitch set to be delivered from the circle at 12 p.m.