LOGAN, Utah –
Despite scoring early and making a late comeback, Utah State softball couldn’t quite catch No. 22 BYU, falling to the Cougars, 8-6, Wednesday.
Junior third baseman Amee Aarhus led the Aggies at the plate, where she was 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs. Senior shortstop Sarina Jaramillo kept Utah State in the game with a three-run home run, while she batted .500 (2-of-4) on the day. Senior first baseman Paxton Provost tallied 11 defensive putouts, matching her season-high. The Aggies utilized three pitchers in Wednesday’s game, with senior April Brown making the start, while freshman Kellie White pitched a perfect 3.1 innings.
“We obviously want to win every game and are disappointed with the outcome, but I am really pleased with the outcome,” said Utah State head coach Steve Johnson. “This is the best we have played against BYU in the four years I’ve been here. McKenna Bull is an outstanding pitcher and has never had any difficulties with us. For us to get eight hits off here and score those runs is a process-builder for us.”
There were 603 fans in attendance at Wednesday’s game, the most LaRee & LeGrand Johnson Field had seen since 608 attended a game against Louisiana Tech on April 14, 2007.
Utah State falls to 23-9 on the season with the loss, while BYU improves to 24-10.
After a quiet first inning, the Aggies were first to score Wednesday, plating three runs in the bottom of the second. Senior catcher Sydney Hart reached first on an error by the BYU first baseman, advancing to third on a double from sophomore designated player Bailee Trapp. With two outs on the board, Aarhus doubled down the left side, bringing both runners across the plate. Aarhus then scored as junior outfielder Jazmin Clarke hit a single and advanced on the throw.
Utah State’s lead didn’t last long though, as the Cougars answered with three runs in the top of the third. After BYU drew back-to-back walks off Brown, a home run to left field cleared the bases to tie the score. The Cougars continued their scoring streak through the fourth inning. With one runner on after a walk, a second home run gave BYU its first lead of the day. Sophomore Katie Schroeder took over pitching duties then, but the Cougars followed with a double and a hit by pitch. Another double brought both those runners home. A single to first and a stolen base put runners on second and third for BYU, while another run crossed on a groundout.
White came into the game for the Aggies with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, where she went on to pitch a perfect 3.1 innings to close things out. The Utah State defense retired 10-straight batters to end the game.
The Aggies looked to mount a comeback through the final innings. After being retired in order in the fourth, USU plated three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Clarke led-off with a bunt single, followed by a single to left field from senior second baseman Victoria Saucedo. With one out and runners on the corners, Jaramillo approached the plate and delivered a home run on the first pitch. BYU then made a pitching change, but the Aggies would get just one more hit on the day.
In all, Utah State had nine hits to BYU’s six. The Cougars had one error on the day.
Utah State continues the week at home as it hosts Fresno State in Mountain West play this weekend. Games are currently set for Friday, April 7, at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. and Noon on Sunday, April 9. With rain and snow in the forecast, however, dates and times are subject to change. Any changes will be announced on the USU Athletics website, as well as all softball team social media pages.
Fans can follow the Aggie softball program on Twitter, @USUSoftball, on Facebook at /USUSoftball or on Instagram, @ususoftball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.