FRESNO, Calif. – Two tough innings led the fifth-seeded Utah State softball team to fall to fourth-seeded Hawai‘i, 6-1 in the opening game of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Softball Tournament at Bulldog Diamond in Fresno, Calif. With the loss, Utah State falls to 15-41 this season overall, while Hawai‘i improves to 37-16 with the win. Utah State’s three seniors went 5-for-10 with outfielder Joreigh Landers and designated player Shasta Tyteca both delivering two hits. The final Aggie senior Megan McDonald added one hit. Second-team all-WAC honoree Kassy Uchida also had a solid game, going 2-for-2 with one run scored. In the first inning, WAC Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai‘i was wild, yielding three walks. On the third walk of the inning, senior infielder Kelley Kaneshiro reached. On the pitch, senior Shasta Tyteca was caught stealing at home to end the threat. Hawai‘i struck first in the bottom of the first inning, scoring four unearned runs. Kelly Majam started the inning with a double to right center and moved to second on a fielder’s choice by Jasey Jensen. After a strikeout of WAC Player of the Year Jessica Iwata, Jenna Rodriguez singled to pitcher Mandy Harmon. With two outs in the inning, the Aggies made back-to-back errors to allow three Rainbow Wahine runs to score. The final run scored on a double steal attempt in which Sharla Kleibenstein was throw out at second, but Alex Aguirre scored on the play to put UH up 4-0 after one inning. USU got one unearned back in the top of the second inning. With one out in the inning, Uchida reached on her first collegiate triple. Ricketts was able to get the second of the inning, but an error on second baseman Dara Pagaduan on a Krista Bava grounder allowed Uchida to score to cut the lead to 4-1. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Hawai‘i added two runs to take a 6-1 lead. Kliebenstein launched a two-run home run to center off of Harmon. A single up the middle by Makani Duhaylonsod lead to a pitching change as sophomore Shelbi Tyteca replaced Harmon. Freshman outfielder Krista Bava started the seventh inning with a single. With one out, Landers singled to put runners on first and second. Tyteca followed with a single to load the bases against Ricketts, but the Rainbow Wahine were able to get sophomore Tina Ferguson to ground into a double play to end the game. Utah State was able to get hits off Ricketts, but was not able to convert the hits into runs. The Aggies were plagued by stranding base runners, leaving nine on base. USU ended the game out-hitting Hawai‘i, 8-6.With the loss, the Aggies fall to 0-5 in the WAC Tournament. This was the first meeting between Utah State and Hawai‘i in the WAC Tournament. Utah State now awaits to see who it will play on Thursday, May 12. Sixth-seeded Louisiana Tech defeated third-seeded Fresno State 2-0 Wednesday night. The Lady Techsters will now take on second-seeded Boise State on Thursday, May 12 at 3 p.m. (MT). The loser of that game will face the Aggies at 8 p.m. (MT). Fans can follow USU softball on Twitter and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.???-USU-
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