Utah State’s softball team opened their season in Fullerton, Calif. where the Aggies won four of their first five games last weekend. The Aggies, attending the Easton Invitational, beat host California State at Fullerton, among three other teams, by a total run differential of 23-12.
Their sole loss came against Loyola Marymount, 3-1, in the final game of their road trip.
At 4-1, the Aggies recorded their best opening tournament record since 2010.
Utah State played two games on Friday, opening with a pair of wins against Pacific University (5-3) and North Dakota State (2-1). Senior pitcher April Brown went six inning against Pacific and tallied five strikeouts. Pacific was the first to score in the top of the fifth inning, but the Aggies would outscore them 5-1 through the remaining innings.
Senior second/third baseman Victoria Saucedo launched a home run against Pacific, tying her for second all-time on Utah State’s home run leaderboard.
The match-up against North Dakota State went to an eighth inning, and the Aggies were able to win on a string of errors and a wild pitch. Freshman pitcher Kellie White pitched all eight innings for the Aggies.
“Overall, I’m really proud of how this team fought today. They really play for each other and that showed as we rallied in both games to start out 2-0,” said Utah State head coach Steve Johnson.
Saturday was Utah State’s day to shine. The Aggies beat Loyola Marymount and Cal State Fullerton by scores of 9-5 and 7-3, respectively.
Against Loyola Marymount, the Aggies out-hit the Lions 11-4. Despite a five-run fifth inning posted by Loyola, Utah State held on to win 9-5.
The Aggies then faced host Fullerton in an afternoon game. White pitched her second complete game in as many days, recording three strikeouts and throwing 112 pitches.
“I can’t say enough great things about the way Kellie took the ball in that situation and just wanted it,” Johnson said.
The Aggies would close their weekend series Sunday against Loyola, falling 3-1. The winning runs would come in the bottom of the first inning, after a two-run home run. The Aggies avoided a shutout by scoring their sole run in the top of the seventh inning.
Through their first five games, senior first baseman Paxton Provost leads the Aggies with seven hits, and seniors Amanda Sheets (outfielder) and Sydney Hart (catcher) are tied for runs batted in
White had a stellar weekend, recording team-bests in: ERA (1.87), wins (2), and innings pitched (15).
Utah State will go on to Riverside, Calif. to take part in the Amy S. Harrison Classic, where they will play another five games over the three-day weekend period.
March 17 is the first home game for the Aggies as they open a three-game series against UNLV.