Utah State softball (8-36, 2-10 WAC) came up short in a cold Wednesday doubleheader with a pair of Beehive State opponents as Utah defeated USU, 14-3 (6), in the opening game of the day, while Southern Utah used a sixth inning run to walk past Aggies, 5-4.
In the second game of the day, the Thunderbirds opened up action in the top of the first inning by plating two runs to take an early, 2-0 lead.
Utah State responded in the bottom of the second inning with three runs of its own, as sophomore infielder Nicole Arata led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. Arata moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by designated player junior Kassandra Uchida. Arata took the next 60 feet to reach third on a wild pitch, which also resulted in a walk for junior catcher Kelsi Webster.
Senior starting pitcher Mandy Harmon drove a double into the left-center field gap that scored Arata and Webster to tie the game at 2-2.
USU produced another run in the bottom half of the second frame when junior infielder Allison Lenzora put a ball in play that was mishandled by Southern Utah, allowing freshman infielder Sarah Chow to score from second base.
SUU wasted no time in reclaiming the lead as it was able to add two more runs to its cause in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Aggies broke through to once against tie the ballgame at 4-4. Lenzora earned a one-out walk and advanced to second on a single from senior infielder Christine Thomsen. Sophomore outfielder Hailey Froton flied out to deep right field, which allowed Lenzora to advance to third and come in to score on an errant throw by a Southern Utah fielder.
SUU was able to score the game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning to capture its third win over Utah State this season. Freshman pitcher Noelle Johnson was charged with the loss and is now 3-13 on the season.
In the opening game of the day, Utah used three home runs to power its way past USU. The Utes scored nine unanswered runs in the first four innings of action at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field.
It was not until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Aggies found some offense to extend the game by scoring three runs in the frame.
Johnson opening the inning with a lead-off single to left field, while sophomore outfielder Jolene Koons added another single to put runners on first and third with one out in the inning. Lenzora once again delivered for the home team with an infield hit to load the bases for Utah State.
Thomsen drove in the first run of the game for USU with an RBI single to left field. Froton plated another two runners in the inning with a hard hit ball up the middle to cut the Utah lead to a 9-3 advantage.
The Utes would not be denied, however, as they were able to add five more runs in the top half of the sixth inning to push the gap to a 14-3 advantage that the Aggies could not overcome.
Taking the loss in the circle for Utah State was senior pitcher Mandy Harmon, who falls to 2-21 on the year. Following Wednesday's games, USU is now 8-36 on the season.
The Aggies will turn their attention back to Western Athletic Conference action as they prepare to welcome Louisiana Tech for a three-game weekend series. The Lady Techsters enter the series with a 6-6 mark in WAC games to go along with a 21-20 overall record on the season.
This weekend series will get underway Friday, April 19, with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. The second game of the day is set to start at approximately 4 p.m.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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