Emotions were high for the Utah State softball team Friday, but unfortunately adrenaline could carry the Aggies only so far.
USU dropped both games of a doubleheader with Texas State after a late-game rally fell short in the second contest, a 9-8 setback.
Nothing went the Aggies way in the first game, a 14-0 rout by the Bobcats. The visitors blasted Noelle Johnson for 15 hits in five innings to invoke the mercy rule.
The Aggies managed just two hits against Texas State pitcher Rayn House, and the offensive woes continued into the second game through the first four innings.
Meanwhile, senior Mandy Harmon struggled in the circle, giving up eight runs before leaving to a standing ovation in the fourth inning in her final game in an Aggie uniform.
“A lot of emotions today being the last game for us seniors and everything,” Harmon said. “The (strike zone) was (smaller), but it’s part of the game, you just have to work with it. Texas State is a very good hitting team.”
Trailing 8-0 in the fifth, the bats came to life for USU with a two-out rally that resulted in six runs for the Aggies.
Senior Kali Cancelosi came through with a bases loaded single to jump-start the offense. A wild pitch after four consecutive singles cut the deficit to two headed to the sixth inning.
Shelbi Tyteca had a two-RBI single, while Nicole Arata and Annie Thomas each had RBI singles during the outburst.
“We expect that out of ourselves, we like to rally back at the last minute,” Harmon said.
The Aggies tacked on two more in the sixth after Hailey Froton capitalized on a pair of leadoff hits. With Froton aboard, Cancelosi nearly came through again with a line drive to center field, but an athletic play robbed the senior of a hit and put an end to the USU rally.
The Bobcats answered in the top of the seventh, knocking home the winning run on an Aggie fielding error to escape with the win, clinch the series and spoil Senior Day for USU’s five seniors.
“We almost came back and that’s a good feeling for all of us,” Harmon said. “I don’t even know what to say it’s so emotional. I did everything I could. It might not have gone my way some of the time, but I still feel good about the way it ended.”
USU fell to 10-43 overall and 4-16 in the WAC with the losses, while Texas State improved to 16-35 overall and 10-10 in WAC play.
The teams will meet again today for the final game of the series and the season at 4 p.m. at Johnson Field.