Seven-run seventh inning lifts Utah State softball to 9-3 win over Fresno State

Box Score FRESNO, Calif. — Utah State Softball (21-15, 7-0 MW) extended its winning streak to nine with a 9-3 victory over Fresno State (9-28, 2-8 MW ) Friday night.

USU’s nine-game winning streak is its best since 1993, when the Aggies went 11 in a row.

Utah State’s 7-0 mark in the Mountain West game is its second-best start in league action in program history, following USU’s 11-0 start at the Intermountain Athletic Conference in 1981, the same year the Aggies won the AIAW World Series.

The Bulldogs scored a run late in the first to take a 1-0 lead.

Senior Shortstop Lexi Orozco doubled to right center in the top of the second and scored on an RBI single from second baseman Zaia Castruita to attach it to 1-each.

Neither team scored again until the sixth inning. Castruita doubled to center and junior field Tyler Thorton came in as a pinch runner for the second baseman. Thornton scored on a pitch error to give USU a 2-1 lead.

Fresno State tied it at 2 apiece with a run of its own at the bottom of the frame.

The start of the seventh proved fatal as the Aggies scored seven points to take a 9-2 lead.

Freshman left fielder Claire Raley drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch to lead from the top of the frame. Junior Center Fielder mazie macfarlane reached on a Fresno State error before she also stole second. The duo scored on a Bulldog throwing error that allowed the senior receiver Gabriella Jimenez reach first. First-year student Ariel Lopez then came in as a pinch runner for Jimenez.

Utah State loaded the bases after Orozco and Castruita made back-to-back walks. Lopez scored the third run of the inning, and Orozco and Castruita each advanced a base on a passed ball. Junior first baseman Makenzie Macfarlane then had a two RBI single at second base to score Orozco and Castruita, and give the Aggies a 7-2 lead.

Senior right fielder Bri Lerma was hit by a pitch for the ninth time this season. Another Bulldog Mistake Made Makenzie Macfarlane and Lerma at home as Utah State led 9-2 in the bottom of the inning.

Fresno State scored one more run in the bottom of the seventh as USU held on for the 9-3 victory.

Senior Kapri Toone started in the circle for the Aggies, recording one strikeout in 4.1 innings of work. She was picked up by a freshman Mia Reynolds, who had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched. Second year Jessica Stewart entered the circle in the final inning, striking out a batter and walking another in her 1.0 working inning.

Utah State and Fresno State next face off on Saturday, April 9 at 4 p.m. MT.

For more information on Utah State’s softball program, follow the Aggies on Twitter at @USUSoftball, on Facebook at USUSoftball and on Instagram at ususoftball.


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