Utah State softball played its final game of the Capital Classic Sunday, March 1, defeating Santa Clara, 4-0, behind another strong performance from sophomore pitcher and former Bear River High star Kapri Toone.
Utah State got at least one runner on base in each of the first three innings, highlighted by a double from freshman catcher Makenzie Macfarlane. Junior outfielder Stephanie Reed reached on a lead-off error to start the game, while freshman designated player Tyler Thornton was hit by a pitch. Reed also reached base on a fielder's choice in the third, but a double play ended the inning.
The Aggie offense surged with two outs in the top of the fourth. Makenzie Macfarlane singled to right field, taking third when sophomore first baseman Gabriella Jimenez doubled to left. Senior second baseman Allanah Alvarado added a single of her own then, sending Macfarlane home. Utah State extended its lead in the fifth, when Reed sped to a triple in right center, scoring on a sac fly from senior outfielder Riley Plogger.
Defensively, Utah State retired 10 batters in a row to start the game, as Santa Clara did not record its first hit until the fourth inning. The Broncos added a double and a single in the fifth, but Toone threw back-to-back strikeouts to keep Santa Clara from scoring.
The Aggies had a chance to score in the sixth, loading the bases on singles from junior third baseman Kennedy Hira and Alvarado and a walk on Thornton. Santa Clara changed pitchers then, turning a double play on the next at-bat to end the half-inning.
Utah State struck again with another pair of runs in the seventh inning. After one out, freshman outfielder Mazie Macfarlane and sophomore shortstop Lexi Orozco drew back-to-back walks. A single from Makenzie Macfarlane drove Mazie Macfarlane home, while Orozco scored on a groundout off Jimenez. The Broncos made one last go in the bottom of the seventh with a walk and a single, but a final fly ball to left field ended the game.
Toone pitched the complete game Sunday, striking out three batters and improving to 5-1 on the year. With the win, she has now surpassed her individual win total from her freshman campaign and has thrown three shutouts this season. Utah State had 10 hits on the day, while Santa Clara had four. The Broncos also had one error in the game.
The Aggies will wrap-up tournament play next week at the Silicon Classic II co-hosted by San José State and Santa Clara. Tournament play will start in San Jose on Thursday, March 5, when the Aggies take on Saint Francis at 7 p.m. (MT). USU will then play Saint Mary's and UC Santa Barbara on Friday, March 6, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. The Aggies will move to Santa Clara for the final two games of the weekend on Sunday, March 7, when they play Saint Francis at 9 a.m. and the host-Broncos at 11:30 a.m.