WRAP IT UP
Utah State softball concluded the 2017 season with a 33-18 overall record, while going 14-9 in Mountain West play to finish tied for third in league standings. The Aggies continued their trend of improving their season win total, while making their first postseason appearance in 24 years.
BACK TO THE POSTSEASON
Utah State has now played in postseason tournaments eight times throughout program history, while this season marked the team’s first appearance since 1993. All-time, Utah State is 22-19 in postseason play. Prior to softball becoming an NCAA sport, the Aggies made three appearances in the AIAW Tournament, claiming the national title in 1980 and 1981. After the switch to the NCAA, Utah State has played in four Regionals, advancing to the Women’s College World Series in 1984, followed by appearances in 1989, 1992 and 1993. This season, the Aggies went 1-2 in the National Invitational Softball Championship. USU won its opening game in a five-inning 8-0 victory against San Diego. However, the team was eliminated the following day after falling to Weber State (2-0) and Boise State (10-2 (6)).
MOUNTAIN WEST REPRESENTS
Utah State was one of five Mountain West teams to play in a postseason tournament. As Mountain West champions, San José State earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Fresno State joined the Spartans, earning an at-large bid. Both the Spartans and the Bulldogs were eliminated in the Regional round, each earning one win. Utah State was joined in the NISC by Boise State and Nevada. The Aggies were eliminated from the NISC by the Broncos, who fell to Weber State in the final regional game.
BEST OF THE CONFERENCE
Three Utah State softball players earned all-Mountain West accolades this season, as freshman pitcher Kellie White earned first-team honors, and senior second baseman Victoria Saucedo and freshman outfielder Riley Plogger were named to the second team. This is the third-straight season the Aggies have garnered at least three all-conference accolades. White is the first USU freshman to earn first-team honors since Saucedo did so in 2014, and is just the sixth freshman in program history to do so. This is the third all-conference honor for Saucedo, who was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year and to the first team in 2014, while she picked up second-team recognition a year ago.
Utah State finished the year with a .309 batting average (431-of-1394). This is the second-highest team average in school history, just missing the .310 record held by the 1996 team. Additionally, this is just the second time in program history the USU team has combined for a batting average above .300. San Diego State led the Mountain West and the NCAA at the plate, posting a .356 batting average, while the Aggies ended the season ranked 25th nationally.
RUN AWAY WITH IT
Of Utah State’s 265 runs scored this season, four different players scored 30 runs or more each, with all four holding a spot on the single-season runs scored record list. Junior outfielder Jazmin Clarke leads the team with 38 runs scored, which ranks second on the single-season record list. Senior shortstop Sarina Jaramillo finished the year with 35 runs to rank tied for fifth, while senior infielder Victoria Saucedo and freshman outfielder Riley Plogger each scored 34 runs on the year to tie for seventh place.
30 AND COUNTING
Utah State ended the year with a 33-18 record, marking the first time reaching the 30-win mark since the 1996 season. Overall, this is the 14th time in school history that the team has finished the year with at least 30 victories.
As a team, Utah State shattered its single-season stolen base record, tallying 92 this year to top the previous record of 67, set in 1981. The 92 also set a Mountain West single-season record. Junior outfielder Jazmin Clarke led the way in the stolen base category, with 31 this season and 57 in her career. She holds both the single-season and career records in Utah State history, while her 31 this year rank fifth on the Mountain West season record list. Clarke also led the Mountain West and ranked 27th nationally in stolen bases.
LEAVING THEIR MARK
Several members of the Utah State team continue to climb the ranks of the record books. Senior 2B/3B Victoria Saucedo holds the all-time runs and total bases records, with 113 and 339, respectively, in her career. Additionally, Saucedo currently ranks second in home runs (33), RBIs (124) and slugging percentage (.576), third in batting average (.346) and fourth in doubles (36). Senior first baseman Paxton Provost also holds spots on three career record lists, as she is tied for fourth in home runs (21), fifth in RBIs (109) and sixth in slugging percentage (.502). Junior outfielder Jazmin Clarke and sophomore outfielder Mia Maher are both career leaders in stolen bases, as Clarke holds the all-time record with 57, while Maher is tied for fourth with 33. Senior shortstop Sarina Jaramillo ended her career ranked fourth in slugging percentage (.521) and eighth in batting average (.323). Senior catcher/DP Sydney Hart also made the career slugging percentage list, ranking ninth (.488).
YOU SAY GOODBYE
With the conclusion of the 2017 season, seven seniors played their last games in an Aggie uniform. Pitcher April Brown, infielder Kylie-Rose Dickson, catcher Sydney Hart, shortstop Sarina Jaramillo, first baseman Paxton Provost, infielder Victoria Saucedo and outfielder Amanda Sheets celebrated their Senior Day in a doubleheader sweep of San Diego State. All seven seniors have graduated from USU, or are on-pace to complete their coursework in the next year.
AND I SAY HELLO
While the seven seniors will move to the next step of their lives, the Aggie coaching staff will welcome seven new players to the roster for the 2018 season. Kayla Fielder (League City, Texas/Clear Springs HS), Kennedy Hira (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS), Delaney Hull (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS), Brianna Lerma (Downey, Calif./Valley Christian HS), Leah Molina (Mesa, Ariz./Desert Ridge HS), Stephanie Reed (Santa Fe, Texas/Santa Fe HS) and Joely Williamson (Georgetown, Texas/Liberty Hill HS) all signed National Letters of Intent with the Aggies last November. This is the largest group of signees Utah State softball has had since 2013, when this season’s senior class, originally a group of eight players, signed.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah State wrapped up its 2017 season as it went 1-2 in tournament play at the National Invitational Softball Championship, hosted by Weber State in Ogden, Utah. The Aggies opened the Regional Round with a five-inning 8-0 win against San Diego. Utah State was eliminated on the second day of competition after falling to Weber State (2-0) and Boise State (10-2 (6)). Junior catcher Brina Buttacavoli led the Aggies at the plate, where she went 4-for-6 (.667) on the week, along with three RBIs. Senior first baseman Paxton Provost was tops defensively, tallying 18 putouts. Utah State utilized three pitchers during the tournament, with freshman Kellie White leading the group with a 1.35 ERA and a 1-1 individual record. In all, the Aggies allowed 23 hits and 12 runs while tallying 10 strikeouts and walking two batters.
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