Feb. 8, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Fresno State softball team (3-1) continued its run of success in the Kajikawa Classic Saturday with a pair of comfortable victories over Appalachian State and UC Riverside in second-day action.
In the morning opener, the `Dogs springboarded off a six-run first inning en route to an 11-3 victory in six innings over the returning Southern Conference champions (0-4), then topped the Highlanders (0-2) by an 8-1 count immediately after.
"We got two good wins today, and our offense really looked good," Ford said. "We had nice balance and got contributions from all parts of the lineup. When they batted around the first inning, that was a great way to start the day and build some confidence. Our defense was better, and our pitchers weren't always pretty but ultimately got it done."
In the opener, five Bulldog players each stroked a pair of hits courtesy of the senior trio of center fielder Brenna Moss (2-for-4, 1 RBI), first baseman Stesha Brazil (2-for-4, 4 RBI) and DP Kapri Angotti (2-for-2), sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (2-for-3, RBI) and freshman DP Kierra Willis (2-for-2).
Brazil also tied her career high in RBI (4) from the day before vs. No. 8 Oregon, thanks to a two-run single in the first inning, a second-inning RBI triple, and a sixth-inning sacrifice fly that ended the game early via the eight-run rule.
Moss continued to jump-start the offense with a single and stolen base to lead off the 10-batter first inning, and season-wise continues to lead the team in hitting (.636) and steals (3). Defensively, she also boosted the team with a diving catch in the fourth inning with a runner on first base.
The Pleasant Hill, Calif., native Willis also enjoyed both her first collegiate hit and extra-base hit - a first-inning double - then stole a base in both the second and fifth innings after a walk and single.
In the circle, sophomore Hannah Harris (1-0) earned the win, and in her three innings, struck out two, walked none, allowed five hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned.
Sophomore Taylor Langdon pitched the final three innings for the save, struck out one, walked none, and allowed one hit and no runs.
For Appalachian State, starter Shivaun Landeros pitched all 5.1 innings, struck out two, walked three, allowed 12 hits, and eight of her 11 runs allowed were earned. At the plate for the Mountaineers, five batters hit safely, and Lindsay Loudermilk (2-for-3, 2 RBI) was the lone opponent with two hits.
Immediately after vs. the Highlanders, the Bulldog offense continued to click to the tune of eight runs - thanks to three runs in the fifth, a pair of runs in both the first and seventh innings, and another run in the third.
Driving in a season-high 4 RBI, junior right fielder Michelle Solomon was a round-tripper away from hitting for the cycle with a first-inning RBI triple, fifth-inning RBI single and two-run double in the seventh.
Moss reached base in all four at-bats with a pair of singles and walks, and stole a pair of bases.
Sophomore right-hander Jill Compton (2-0) struck out four, walked two, and allowed only three hits and one earned run.
On the season, the All-MW returnee from Oceano, Calif., sports a 0.50 ERA in her 14 innings, and is holding opposing hitters to a .104 batting average.
UCR starter Alyssa Razo worked the first five innings, struck out three, walked three, allowed six hits, and four of her six runs allowed were earned.
Offensively, the Highlanders had three players hit safely once each in the first three innings, including a two-out RBI double by Taylor Wright in the first inning.
Looking ahead, the `Dogs cap the tourney at host and No. 7 Arizona State (4-0) Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m., and a complete tournament schedule is available at the http://www.thesundevils.com/pdf9/2595788.pdf URL address.
"Catch the Wave!" - Follow Fresno State softball on Twitter at the *NEW* @FresnoStateSB address.
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