LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Utah State softball concluded play in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic on Sunday with two losses. USU dropped its first game of the day to Big 12 foe Texas Tech, 11-2, in five innings and was unable to keep pace with No. 25 LSU, 13-0, also in five. The Aggies are now 5-4 on the young season and will have a short turnaround with a doubleheader on Monday, Feb. 20 against Southern Utah.
Utah State was unable to corral Texas Tech on Sunday, as TTU defeated USU, 11-2. The Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. USU responded in the bottom half of the first when sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida doubled to left field in her first plate appearance of the game. Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton forced the action with a dribbler up the middle that was muffed by Texas Tech’s second baseman and would advance Uchida to third. Uchida came around to score when senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro grounded a ball to second base which allowed Uchida to safely cross the plate, cutting the lead to, 2-1.
TTU would add another run in top of the second inning and again in the top of the third, pushing its lead, 4-1.
The Aggies looked to rally once again in the bottom of the third frame. With two outs, junior infielder Christine Thomsen singled on grounder with Kaneshiro following with an infield single of her own to put Thomsen in scoring position. Junior designated player Kali Cancelosi converted on the opportunity with a third consecutive two-out single of the inning for Utah State, that scored Thomsen from second. USU commited the next out, ending the two-out rally but was able to cut the lead in half, 4-2, heading into the fourth.
The Aggies' defense held the Red Raiders scoreless in the top of the fourth but was unable to capitalize on the defensive stand in the bottom of the fourth.
Utah State was unable to stem the tide early in the top of fifth inning when Adriana Perez hit a two-run home run that stretched Texas Tech’s lead to, 6-2. TTU would go on to score five more runs in the inning to take control of the game.
USU had no answer for the offensive surge by the Red Raiders and the game would be called after the bottom of the fifth due to the eight-run rule.
The Aggies would have a tall task in their second game of the day as they took on SouthEastern Conference powerhouse, No. 25 LSU.
Utah State fell behind early to the Tigers, as it scoreed two runs in the first two innings of play. USU could not get any offensive momentum against starting pitcher Rachele Flco who surrendered only one hit in the game.
LSU broke the game open in the top of the third when it scored seven runs, pushing the lead into double digits. The Tigers would add to more in the top of the fourth to secure the final score, 13-0. The game was called after five innings of play.
The Aggies will make a pit stop on the way home to Logan to play in-state foe, Southern Utah, in a President’s Day doubleheader. The games will be played at Karl Brooks Field at Dixie State College due to the snowfall in Cedar City, Utah, over the last several days. First pitch is set for noon.
Fans can follow the action through the available Gametracker links on the www.utahstateaggies.com homepage. Fans can follow Utah State athletics, including softball, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com, as well as on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.