BOISE — Utah State played its second game in the Boise State SpringHill Suites Invitational against Pacific Coast Softball Conference foe Portland State on Saturday, falling 11-5. Because of rain and bad weather, the second game of the day for USU against Minnesota was cancelled and has not been rescheduled.
In the first game of the day, Utah State (8-17, 0-0) took on Portland State. Due to rain and wind the game was pushed back from its original 10 a.m. start time and first pitch was delivered at 1:45 p.m. instead.
USU put early runs on the board, scoring five runs in four innings but could not contain the late offensive outbreak by the Vikings, who scored six unanswered runs to end the game, securing an 11-5 win over the Aggies.
USU struck first in the bottom of the opening frame as sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida drew a lead-off walk to get on base and eventually landed on third to give the Aggies their first scoring threat of the day. Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro converted on the opportunity as she hit a ball through the right side of the infield, scoring Uchida from third.
It was the second time in as many games that Utah State had scored first.
Portland State responded in the top half of the second inning, however, by scoring a run of its own to tie the game at 1-1. PSU struck again in the top of the third frame, adding two more runs to claim a 3-1 lead.
Utah State battled back to tie the game at 3-3, as it was able to load the bases with only one out. Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton worked the count and drew a walk to score senior infielder Lindsey Marquez. Senior infielder Tatem Day added the second run of the inning by drawing the second bases-loaded walk of the inning, scoring Marquez. Day was credited with her first RBI of the season.
Once again the Vikings broke up the tied ball game, adding two more runs in the top of the fourth frame to take a 5-3 lead.
The Aggies refused to relent and once again found a way to add two runs in the bottom half of the fourth when freshman outfielder Amburlyn Orozco hit an infield single and stole second to put a runner in scoring position. Junior infielder Christine Thomsen made sure Orozco would cross the plate as she blasted a ball over the fence for her second home run of the season.
Portland State broke the tie once again, adding two runs in the top of the fifth. PSU would not stop there, as it added two runs in the top of the six and another pair in the seventh, pushing its lead to a six-run advantage for the Vikings.
Utah State could not respond to the late-game offensive outburst by Portland State and failed to score past the fourth inning.
USU will finish up play in the SpringHill Suites Invitation on Sunday with two games, opening with a rematch against Portland State, with first pitch set for 10 a.m. The Aggies will conclude the day with a matchup against border-foe Idaho State at 1 p.m.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.