Utah State softball utilized timely hitting to rally from an early three-run deficit for an exciting 8-7 win and recorded a season-high 15 hits. Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton delivered two hits, one of which was a two-run home run, and finished the game with three RBI.
USU (12-25, 2-7 WAC) fell behind early to UVU as it surrendered a three-run home run in the top of the opening frame. With the Aggies trailing 3-0 in the bottom half of the inning, Froton came to the plate and delivered a two-run homer well over the left field fence, pulling Utah State to within one. It was Froton’s second long ball of the season.
The Wolverines added to their lead in the top of the third by plating two runs, pushing their advantage to a 5-2 lead.
The Utah State offense responded once again as it was able to load the bases with one out. Sophomore catcher Samantha Miller connected with a pitch, sending it deep enough for a sacrifice fly that allowed sophomore infielder Allison Lenzora to cross the plate and pulling USU back to within two runs of Utah Valley at 5-3.
The Aggies surrendered another run to the visiting team in the top of the fourth frame before their offense found its groove in the bottom half of the inning. Utah State knocked five consecutive singles with one out, scoring three runs on the five hits to tie the game at 6-6 heading into the final three frames.
After a scoreless fifth inning, USU’s offense took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Junior infielder Christine Thomsen got the action started with a double to deep right center field, which was followed with a timely hit by senior infielder Lindsey Marquez to move Thomsen over to third, and Marquez advanced to second on the throw from the center fielder. Freshman utility player Jolene Koons delivered in the clutch for her squad with a two-out single to left center field, scoring both Thomsen and Marquez and giving the Aggies their first lead of the game, 8-6.
Utah State looked to close out UVU in the top of the seventh, but Krystin Jachim had other plans as she hit a lead-off solo home run to start the inning for her squad. USU recorded the next two outs of the inning, putting it on the brink of its 12th win of the season, yet once again the Wolverines had other plans. Utah Valley rallied to load the bases to create a serious threat for junior pitcher Mandy Harmon.
The Aggie pitcher kept her poise, however, and worked to induce the final out of the game. Harmon was able to get Jamie North to pop-foul off a pitch that was easy handled by Miller to secure the win for the home team. Harmon picked up her sixth win of the season, improving to 6-13 on the year, while Cassie Herrera was credited with the loss, falling to 7-4 for the year.
The Aggies will have a short turn around as they prepare to play a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader against in-state foe Weber State. First pitch for the opening game is set for 2 p.m. Admission to the games is free and open to the public.
Live stats will be available to all fans on the www.utahstateaggies.com home page. Click on the GameTracker link.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.