Eastern Softball Begins Season With Perfect 5-0 Start


Photo by Jeff Barrett

By Calvin Jensen

USU Eastern opened its season on the road in Henderson, Nev. over the weekend. The Lady Eagles caught fire in the first matchup of the CSN Coyote Classic and never cooled off.

Eastern clinched a convincing 4-0 triumph against Central Arizona College, showing dominance both at bat and on the mound. Paige Shumway delivered a standout 2-4 performance, including a home run that contributed three crucial RBIs.

Pitcher Brinley Johnson made her presence known on the mound, steering the team to success with a five-inning shutout. Johnson displayed exceptional precision, limiting Central Arizona to just three hits while issuing only three walks and striking out three batters.

On the offensive front, Kailey Alas added to the run tally with an RBI, while Elissa Gibson went 2-3, crossing the plate twice and contributing to the victory.

Eastern secured another noteworthy victory in its second of three matchups of the day, this time defeating Yavapai College with a commanding 5-0 final score. Maddie Jennings took the mound for the opening three innings, allowing only one hit while maintaining a clean sheet. The pitching duo of Jennings and Addison Hess collectively shut down the Roughriders’ offense.

Shumway continued to dominate offensively with a home run and two RBIs. Cindy Martinez also made an offensive contribution with an RBI, while Micaela Resler and Gibson also added to the offensive display.

The Lady Eagles capped off an exceptional day on the field with an impressive 12-0 triumph over Arizona Western College. The offensive onslaught was once again led by Shumway, who hit another home run and three RBIs in the contest.

Pitcher Hess allowed only three hits over four innings while keeping the opposing team scoreless. Jenna Thorkelson provided solid relief, maintaining the shutout with a one-inning appearance. The pitching duo’s effectiveness limited Arizona Western’s offensive opportunities, contributing to Utah State Eastern’s overall dominance in the game.

The offensive contributors for Eastern were widespread, with multiple players making notable contributions. Jennings, Johnson, Martinez and Paige Herbon each added RBIs to the team’s impressive run total.

With little time to rest, USU Eastern opened on Saturday against Pima Community College with another shutout and 8-0 victory. Hess continued to showcase her ability on the mound, tossing a complete-game shutout. Hess allowed only three hits while striking out two and issuing just one walk, maintaining control throughout the game.

Eastern’s offense was firing on all cylinders, amassing 12 hits led by Gia Bruno, going 3-4 with two doubles. Shumway, Jennings and Johnson also delivered, each collecting multiple hits and combining for six RBIs.

In their final contest of the five-game tournament, the Lady Eagles earned a convincing 10-4 victory in just four innings against GateWay Community College.  Johnson took the mound for USU Eastern, helping secure the win against the Geckos before the dark ended the game early.

The Lady Eagle offense was led by Resler, Shumway and Jennings, who each contributed to the team’s run production. Resler displayed her speed with a triple and added two runs, while Shumway and Jennings combined for three hits and two RBIs. Bruno highlighted the power in the lineup with a home run and two RBIs, contributing significantly to the team’s offensive explosion.

The second inning proved crucial for Lady Eagles as they scored five runs to establish control of the game. The team’s aggressive base running, including stolen bases by Jennings, Johnson, and Gibson, added to the offensive strategy.

USU Eastern (5-0, 0-0) will spend some time on the practice field before welcoming Northeastern Junior College to Price on Feb. 24 and 25.

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