Last year, Utah State softball put up a more historic season than its barely-above-.500 record would suggest, boasting the single greatest offensive output in program history. That squad rewrote the record books for most runs scored, home runs, RBIs, on base percentage and a fistful of other batting records that hadn’t been touched in 20 years.
This team is better.
The Aggies’ statistically brilliant season crossed an important mile marker Friday, as Utah State won its 27th game of the year in a 4-0 shutout over Colorado State. The win surpassed last year’s win total (26-25), guaranteeing the Aggies improvement over their 2015-16 campaign with 12 games still to play. Despite redefining success for themselves just one year ago, Aggie softball is on pace for yet another record-smashing finish.
Senior Victoria Saucedo, key contributor to last year’s team-wide success at the plate, joins freshman Riley Plogger and fellow senior Sarina Jaramillo in the conference’s 20 best batting averages — Jaramillo (no. 8) is a threat to finish the year batting above .400. Together the Aggies have racked up 37 home runs in a race to upend last year’s nice round all-time best mark — 50.
Were the season to end today, the 2017 Aggies would own new records in team batting average (.327), on base percentage (.384) and slug percentage (.513). Two of those records belong to the 2016 team, but 1996’s team batting average (.310) remained untouched for over two decades.
Now, that record stands in the way of a relentlessly fun bunch of Aggies unwilling to stop their hot streak for more than a game or two. The 2017 crew is fearless, earning Utah State a season series win against Fresno for the first time since any of them had been born, blasting past an entire mess of 5- and 6-win teams to 10 conference wins and firm hold on first place in the Mountain West.
Friday against Colorado State was the quintessential Aggie game, a whole season in seven innings. Kellie White continued her unassailable campaign for freshman of the year with her second save of the year. Senior first baseman and somehow still underrated hitter Paxton Provost hit a home run. Catcher Bailey Lewis hit one too, her first of the season. The fielding was sound. Errors were minimal. The game was won 4-0.
The Rams avoided the series sweep with a win Saturday, but it won’t be enough to knock the Aggies off-track. Utah State is 7-2 this season following a loss, with neither loss coming against a conference opponent. The slump-proof Aggies have 12 games to play, including a rematch against ranked BYU, to establish exactly how high this season will rise in the record books.
Success is already theirs, but history could be, too.