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Utah State softball: Aggies drop pair of games to Louisiana Tech

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 25 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

RUSTON, La. — Utah State's softball team dropped two games to Western Athletic Conference foe Louisiana Tech on Saturday in an afternoon doubleheader. Louisiana Tech won the first game of the doubleheader 10-1 in five innings and captured the night cap 5-1.

With the losses, Utah State falls to 9-19 overall and 1-2 in league action. Louisiana Tech improves 15-17 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

In the first game, the Lady Techsters seized an early lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the opening frame. Louisiana Tech could not be slowed as it added three more runs in the second and put the game out of reach in the fourth by adding four more runs to push the advantage to 10-0.

The Aggies looked to rally late in the game but could not stem the tide of the offensive outburst by the Lady Techsters. Scoring the lone run for Utah State was junior infielder Christine Thomsen, who drew a two-out walk to get on base and worked her way over to third. Senior infielder Lindsey Marquez knocked a single that allowed Thomsen to score to cut the lead to 10-1.

The game was called after the top of the fifth inning due to the eight-run rule, giving Louisiana Tech its first conference win of the season. Taking the loss was USU senior pitcher Dani Chaplin, who fell to 1-2 on the season.

In the second game of the day, Utah State looked to rebound behind junior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon, who effectively worked around LA Tech in the series opener on Friday night. Harmon would once again keep USU in the game, surrendering two early runs but limiting the Lady Techsters' offense over the next three innings by not allowing another run to score.

Sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida and Thomsen looked to rally the Aggies' offense. Uchida proved to be a hard out to get as she went 3 for 4 on the day but was not able to score a run for the visiting team.

Much like the game earlier in the day, Thomsen delivered the offensive power for USU as she connected and drove a pitch over the right-field fence for the first run of the game for Utah State. The solo blast by Thomsen was her third of the season, which is tied with senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro for most on the team.

USU was able to outhit the Lady Techsters in Game 2, as the Aggies hit seven times in the game. But they were unable to convert the hits into runs by stranding nine on base. Mandy Harmon was charged with the loss and now has a 4-9 record — though she touts the lowest ERA of all the USU pitchers with a 4.74 ERA.

Utah State will next appear on the diamond in Salt Lake City when it takes on in-state foe Utah on Wednesday. Live stats will be available at www.utahstateaggies.com.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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