RENO, Nevada – For the first time since 2007, the Utah State softball team swept a Western Athletic Conference series when the Aggies defeated Nevada 8-1 in Reno on Saturday. The win inched USU closer to clinching a spot in the upcoming WAC Tournament in Fresno, Calif., May 11-15. The last time that the blue and white played in the WAC Tournament was in 2008. The last time that the Aggies swept a WAC series was in 2007 when Utah State swept Louisiana Tech in Logan. Prior to that sweep, USU had not swept a conference series since April 3-4, 2004, when the Aggies took three from then-Big West Conference foe Cal State Fullerton. With the win, Utah State improves to 14-38 overall and 7-11 in WAC play, while Nevada falls to 12-32 and 3-15 in league action. The seven wins in league play are the most ever since USU joined the WAC in 2006. They are also the most conference wins since the Aggies went 7-14 in the Big West in 2005. The Aggies have now won a season-high four-straight games with the sweep of Nevada and a win at home against in-state rival Utah. Utah State continued its hot hitting of late, scoring at least eight runs in its last five games. Six different players at least one hit in the with freshman infielder Allison Lenzora leading the way with three hits and three runs scored. Yesterday, the Aggies were led by seniors, while today it was the USU newcomers who took charge. Utah State struck first in the top of the second inning, manufacturing a run using solid base running. Lenzora had her first of three hits on the day with a single to left. On a sacrifice bunt by senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro, Lenzora used her speed to reach third base. She would give the Aggies the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by junior infielder Lindsey Marquez for her 11th RBI of the season. In the top of the fourth inning, Utah State took advantage of the wildness of Nevada starting pitcher Mallory Darby. Senior Megan McDonald continued her hot-hitting after having five hits yesterday with a single up the middle. McDonald moved to second on another hit by Lenzora. McDonald made the score 2-0 on another sacrifice by Kaneshiro. A Darby wild pitch pushed Lenzora across the plate to put USU up 3-0. Before the inning would add USU added another run on Darby’s second wild pitch of the inning to take a 4-0 lead into the top of the fifth inning. The Aggies added a quartet of runs in the top of the sixth inning. In the three games series, Utah State scored 12 runs in the sixth inning. Lenzora singled through the right side to begin the inning and moved to second on Kaneshiro walk. Both moved along a base after a sacrifice bunt by Marquez. Lenzora scored on one of Darby’s five wild pitches of the day to give the Aggies the 5-0 advantage. Two more runs crossed the plate on a single up the middle by freshman catcher Samantha Miller. The freshman put USU up 8-0 when she scored on a single to left by fellow freshman outfielder Krista Bava. The Wolf Pack were able to get one run back in the home half of the sixth inning. Britton Murdock, one of three Nevada seniors honored on the day, reached on an infield single and promptly stole both second and third. She scored to cut the lead to 8-1 on an error by Lenzora. Sophomore Shelbi Tyteca was stellar in the circle, pitching four innings and allowing only two hits. She improved to 5-10 with the win. Sophomore Mandy Harmon pitched the final three innings in relief and earned her second save of the season. For the weekend, Lenzora hit .583 going 7-for-12 with three RBI on the road trip. Tyteca went 2-0 in the series with a 0.78 ERA. Utah State will now return home to take on Louisiana Tech in its final three-game WAC series of the season, May 6-7. Seniors McDonald, Landers and Shasta Tyteca will be honored.Fans can follow USU softball on Twitter and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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