Utah State softball answered back against border-foe Idaho State on Wednesday by allowing ISU to earn only one hit as USU went on to take the game, 2-0. The Bengals defeated the Aggies in Tuesday’s matchup, 1-0, to start a two-day home-and-home series that concluded in Logan on Wednesday.
Utah State turned to senior pitcher Dani Chaplin to contain the Bengals in the series finale. USU improves to 16-32 on the season and will look to move up the Western Athletic Conference standing this weekend in a three-game series with New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.
Chaplin found her zone early as she struck out four batters in her first two innings of work. Opposing Chaplin in the circle for Idaho State was Amanda Fitzsimmons, who led her squad past USU the day before.
The Aggie offense gained the early upper hand against Fitzsimmons as it scored a run in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead. Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro started the scoring opportunity with a one-out double to right center field. Sophomore infielder Allison Lenzora advanced Kaneshiro to third with a sacrifice toward the second baseman. Senior infielder Lindsey Marquez brought Kaneshiro the final 60 feet with the second double of the inning, putting the home team up 1-0 early in the game.
Chaplin continued to hold down ISU and received more help from her offense in the bottom of the fourth inning when freshman outfielder Hailey Froton took the first pitch she saw in her at-bat and delivered it over the center-field fence for her sixth home run of the season, which ties her for the team lead with Kaneshiro.
Froton’s blast proved to be more than enough for the Utah State squad as it tamed the Bengals over the next three innings of action due in part to junior pitcher Shelbi Tyteca, who entered the game in the top of the fifth. Tyteca did not allow a hit in three innings of work and picked up her fifth save of the season and the ninth of her career, which are both the most by any pitcher in USU history.
Chaplin earned her fifth win of the season and is now 5-7 overall, while Fitzsimmons falls to 9-11. Between Chaplin’s pitching and the Utah State defense, Idaho State only advanced a runner to second once in the game, which came in the first inning.
With the win Wednesday, the Aggies move past their win total from last season (15) and will look to apply the momentum gained in Wednesday’s action into this weekend’s matchup against NMSU. The Crimson Aggies are 20-27 this season and are 1-14 in games against WAC foes this year.
Friday’s game between the two Aggie squads 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 and Dish Network Ch. 410 in Cache Valley. Contact local listings for more information.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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