Aggies' bats wake up as team takes two from SUU, heads for Sacramento
The Utah State University softball team found the two things it needed most before heading back out on the road this weekend.
In its sweep of Southern Utah University (8-0 and 7-4) Tuesday at Johnson Field , USU got its confidence back, as well as solid hitting. The victories improved the Aggies' record to 13-23 overall, 2-4 in Big West Conference play, while also avenging two earlier losses to the Thunderbirds (4-29) in Cedar City on March 4.
In the two games, Utah State combined for 23 hits, while allowing SUU just 12.
"Our bats are alive," USU head coach Pam McCreesh told The Herald Journal.
The hottest of the Aggies was senior Sandy Taylor, who went 5 for 6 in the doubleheader, cranking a pair of homers (seventh and eighth on the year), a pair of doubles and five RBI.
Taylor, who recently broke the all-time home run record at Utah State (currently has 22), became the first Aggie to hit over 100 RBI (104) after her two-run blast in the first game started the scoring. USU added another run in the first inning to give it a 3-0 lead when sophomore catcher Breanne Nickle doubled and then scored on an error.
The Aggies weren't done, though.
With sophomore pitcher Kristen Hommel mowing down Southern Utah at the plate, USU added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Aggies added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the third. Hommel went the distance for Utah State (just five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule), allowing just one hit on the afternoon, while striking out seven and walking three. The 5-foot-10 native of Prescott, Ariz., is now 6-10 on the year.
In the second game of the twinbill, the Thunderbirds gave the Aggies a bit more of a game.
SUU went up 1-0 in the top of the first, but Taylor answered back for USU in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out, two-run bomb to nearly the exact same place as her first homer earlier in the day.
And despite giving up 11 hits and four runs, Aggie junior pitcher Kelly Warner had more than enough offensive help to keep the Thunderbirds at bay. The 5-foot-5 right-hander is now 2-4 on the season.
Utah State plated three runs in the bottom of the third when Taylor doubled to center, driving in teammate Heather Curtis. Nickle then grounded out, bringing in freshman Stephanie Vasarhely. Junior Amy Settlemier then hit one over the second baseman's head to bring home Taylor.
Southern Utah was able to add three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but USU got two of those runs back in the bottom half of the inning.
Utah State will now take its two-game winning streak to Sacramento State University, where it will play a doubleheader on Saturday, and one game on Sunday. USU will be back home on April 12 to face in-state rival University of Utah at 2 p.m.