SOFTBALL: The Aggies showed no fear in upsetting the reigning NCAA Women's College World Series champions and current No. 1 Washington, 7-4, Friday morning in the opening game of the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego.
Freshman Kali Cancelosi's three RBIs led the Aggies to their biggest upset since defeating No. 2 Texas A&M in College Station in 1987. In that battle, USU shut out Texas A&M, 1-0. Senior Kate Greenough was in the circle for the Aggies on Friday, improving to 2-1 with the win, while freshman Shelbi Tyteca earned her second save of the year. With the win, USU improves to 5-1 this season, the Aggies' best start since 1990.
The last time that the Aggies had even faced a No. 1 team was 1998 when USU fell to No. 1 Arizona, 19-2. Utah State also fell to No. 1 Arizona, 8-0, in 1997. The last time that Utah State defeated a ranked team was a 2-0 win over No. 15 Oregon State in Corvallis in 2008.
"It is huge letting everyone know that Utah State is back on the map. We are going to be competitive not only in the Western Athletic Conference, but on a national level," USU head coach Carissa Millsap-Kalaba said. "Getting 12 hits against a team like Washington is huge. We hit well against everyone that they threw at us. We have some really good competition left in this tournament, but we can't hide anymore. Overall, we want to show that Utah State is going to be a tough team to beat."
Washington struck first in the top of the opening inning when Kimi Pohlman reached on an infield single and stole second. Designated player Danielle Lawrie singled to left to put Pohlman on third with one out. Niki Williams then doubled down the right field line to plate both Lawrie and Pohlman. Greenough would get the last two outs of the inning to end the Huskies' threat.
The Aggies fought back in the bottom of the first inning, tying the score at 2-2. With one out, senior right fielder Emily Reilly singled up the middle. Reilly was eliminated from the basepaths on a fielder's choice by junior Joreigh Landers. With two out, redshirt sophomore Kelley Kaneshiro homered to left field to tie the score. The home run extended Kaneshiro's hitting streak to six games. She has hit safely in all six of the Aggies games this season and now has two home runs.
Utah State broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freshman second baseman Tina Ferguson started the rally with a single up the middle. She would move to second on walk by Tyteca. Senior shortstop Rachel Evans singled up the middle to score Ferguson and move Tyteca to second. Senior center fielder Nicole (Rupp) Tindall had the Aggies' third single of the inning and advanced on an error by right fielder Williams. Tyteca scored on the hit to give USU a 4-2 lead. The Aggies would add three more runs that inning on a bases loaded, two-out single by Cancelosi. The single was only the second hit of the season for the freshman.
The defending national champions fought back by scoring single runs in the top of the sixth and seventh innings. In the seventh, Shawna Wright started the rally with a triple to left center with one out. Alyson McWhorter followed with a single to score Wright and cut the USU lead to 7-4. Tyteca came in to relieve Greenough with one out in the inning. Tyteca walked Jenn Salling to load the bases. The freshman was then able to get the final two outs of the inning to preserve the upset for the Aggies, getting a pop up and a fielder's choice to end the game.
"Kate (Greenough) was fantastic today," Millsap-Kalaba said. "The hardest hit ball was the first batter. Overall, they played really well. They played the way that they practice everyday."
Utah State returns to action today for day two of the Campbell-Cartier Classic. The Aggies will take on UC Santa Barbara at 9 a.m. (MT) and Penn State at 11:15 a.m. (MT).
WOMEN'S TENNIS: Utah State swept North Dakota, 7-0, Friday at the Logan Sports Academy and Racquet Club. USU improves to 2-3 this season, while UND drops to 2-4 on the season.
USU dominated the doubles action, taking the point with wins at all three positions. Junior Hailey Swenson and freshman Jaclyn West defeated UND's Hallie Welk and Erin Kappers, 9-8, at the No. 1 spot. Swenson and West hold an Aggie-high doubles record of 5-1. Sophomore Monica Abella and Kristina Voytsekhovich defeated the Fighting Sioux's Katie Callison and Emma Larson, 8-2, at the No. 2 position, while at the No. 3 spot, senior Britney Watts and sophomore Taylor Perry defeated UND's Chelsey Galipeau and Brittni Nelson, 8-6.
Utah State continued to be victorious with wins at all six singles spots.
Swenson improved to an Aggie-high 5-1 singles record with a win over the Fighting Sioux's Callison, 6-0, 7-5, at the No. 1 spot. West, Voytsekhovich and Watts all improved to 4-2 singles records with victories in each of their respective positions. Abella defeated UND's Larson, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 4 spot, while at the No. 5 position, Perry battled through three sets to defeat the Fighting Sioux's Galipeau, 0-6, 7-6, 10-3, in the final match of the day.
USU continues home competition with two more matches against Montana on Saturday, Feb. 27, and Montana State on Thursday, March 4. All home matches are held at the Logan Sports Academy and Racquet Club and are free and open to the public.