Utah State softball could not contain a pesky San Jose State squad on Friday as SJSU took both ends a doubleheader, claiming the first game of the day 11-2 and closing out the day with a six-inning 9-1 win over the home team. USU falls to 2-12 in the Western Athletic Conference standings and is now 14-30 overall, while the Spartans improve to 8-4 in the WAC and are 25-20 overall.
San Jose started the day off with a bang as lead-off hitter Markesha Collins belted a homer, giving the visiting team its first lead of the day. SJSU opened the top of the second inning in the same fashion as Cheryl Freitas led off the second with another solo shot to put the Spartans up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the frame.
The Spartans put the game out of reach for the Aggies as they added six more runs in the top of the fourth inning, pushing their lead out to an 8-0 advantage.
Freshman outfielder Hailey Froton looked to rally her Utah State team as she delivered a two-out line-drive solo home run over the center field fence to put the home team on the board. It was Froton’s fourth long ball of the season and her third hit within the friendly confines of LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field.
San Jose State plated three more runs in the top of the seventh, pushing its run total to 11 in the opening game of the series.
USU added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning as sophomore catcher Samantha Miller knocked an RBI single, scoring freshman infielder Nicole Arata from third. The Aggies were unable to extend the late game rally, solidifying the final score, 11-2. Taking the loss for Utah State was junior starting pitcher Shelbi Tyteca, who is now 4-8 on the year, while opposing starting pitcher Amanda Pridmore improved to 15-9.
In the second matchup of the day, San Jose State once again jumped out to an early advantage by scoring a run in the top of the first inning and another in the top of the third, taking an early 2-0 lead. The Spartans built on their lead in the top of the fifth, plating three more runs, taking a 5-0 advantage into the bottom of the fifth.
Starting for the second time of the day for SJSU, Pridmore held the USU offense in check by not allowing a run to score through the first five innings of action. Pridmore received plenty of help from her squad’s offense as it was able to add four more runs in the top of the sixth frame, giving Pridmore a 9-0 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth.
The Aggie offense looked to rally late as lead-off hitter, freshman utility player Jolene Koons, knocked a bloop single into left center field. Junior infielder Christine Thomsen pushed a runner into scoring position as she delivered a base hit to center field, giving Utah State a scoring threat late in the game. Sophomore outfielder Kassandra Uchida loaded the bases with a one out single to left field, which was the third base hit of the inning for USU.
Senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro brought Koons in from third with a well-hit sacrifice fly to deep center field, giving the Aggies their first run of the game. Utah State could not extend the action of the inning, however, as it converted the next out to end the game due to the eight-run rule.
Senior starting pitcher Dani Chaplin was charged with the loss, dropping her to 3-7 on the year. Pridmore picked up her 16th win of the season and is now 16-9 on the year.
USU closes out its three-game series with the Spartans on Saturday afternoon, with first pitch set to be delivered from the circle at noon. Admission to the game is free, and fans will have the opportunity to have senior trading cards and posters signed after the game by the team.
There will be no live stats available to fans during Saturday’s game, but fans can follow the action via www.twitter.com. Follow USU softball for updates on the action.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.