ETV News stock photo by Jeff Barrett
By Loren Miller, USU Eastern Sports Information
Utah State Eastern softball won its four-game series 3-1 against the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes on Friday and Saturday in Henderson.
On Friday, the Eagles began the series with a 9-3 loss to CSN.
The Eagles started the game 1-0 in the first inning but the Coyotes gained momentum in the third inning when they scored four runs. USU Eastern attempted a comeback in the next inning when a Taylor Passarella two-run home run cut the CSN lead to one. The Coyotes responded and added five more runs in the next two innings to close out the game.
“The energy was really low in game one and I think part of it was the 90 degree weather. The girls aren’t used to it and they just weren’t prepared for it,” said USU Eastern coach Mary Hart.
In game two, the Eagles won 10-8 in extra innings.
With the Coyotes up 7-4 in the top of the sixth, the Eagles added four runs to take the lead. They scored off of two wild pitches, a fielding error and an RBI double by Avery Blackhurst.
In the top of the eighth, USU Eastern would added two runs off of Carlye Levy double and a Passarella single. Passarella, Levy, and Blackhurst each had three hits and two RBIs a piece in game two.
“Those three came out aggressive at the plate and didn’t give up,” said USU Eastern coach Shelby Shurtliff.
In the circle, Levy pitched four innings and gave up four hits and one run with five strikeouts while earning the win.
On Saturday, the Eagles picked up a 10-1 game three win in five innings. As a team, they collected 10 hits and two home runs.
“The girls did really good defensively backing up the pitchers and got the job done at the plate whether that was with a bunt, base hit or deep fly ball,” said Shurtliff.
A majority of the runs scored came in the top of the second when the Eagles had seven runs cross home. Levy pitched a complete game and only gave up four hits and one run with three strikeouts. USU Eastern’s McKenzie Dorney had a team-high three RBIs in the game while Jaiden Smith had a team-high two hits.
To conclude the series, the Eagles dominated game four against the Coyotes with a 9-0 win in five innings. Nyah DeRyke pitched a complete game for USU Eastern and only gave up three hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
“Nyah did a great job at throwing strikes and using her defense,” said Shurtliff.
DeRyke also contributed to the scoring in game four with two hits and an RBI. Smith had another great game for the Eagles and was a force at the plate with two home runs, five RBIs and two hits.
“Jaiden struggled Friday and she really came back with a vengeance and helped us break games open with the long ball,” said Shurtliff.
With the series win, the Eagles now are in fourth place in the standings, two games behind Snow College. They will head to Twin Falls this weekend to take on the College of Southern Idaho in a four-game series beginning on Friday to wrap up the regular season.
Friday’s games will begin at 1 p.m. with Saturday’s doubleheader at noon. All four games will be streamed live on the Scenic West Digital Network at scenicwestnetwork.com.