Feb. 9, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Fresno State softball team (3-2) wrapped up a busy opening weekend with a 7-0 loss to No. 7 Arizona State (5-0) Sunday afternoon in its Kajikawa Classic finale at Farrington Stadium.
Facing its first of five returning Women's College World Series advancers this season, the `Dogs suffered their first loss of the year by more than a run.
The `Dogs also had two batters reach on bases on balls - senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz and senior third baseman Vonnie Martin in the first and sixth innings, respectively. Unfortunately, Fresno State stranded two base runners in both stanzas as well as the third inning after an ASU infield error.
In the circle, the `Dogs utilized three of their four sophomore pitchers to try and keep one of the nation's top offenses off-balance after it had scored nine runs in all three of its preceding games.
Fresno State's Jill Compton (2-1) pitched the first two innings, struck out one, walked two, allowed three hits, and three of her four runs allowed were earned. Kiley Shae Aldridge pitched the next 1.1 innings, gave up a hit and walk, and both of her runs allowed were unearned.
Taylor Langdon pitched the final 2.2 innings, walked three, yielded four hits, and her one run allowed was earned.
The Bulldog defense notched its first double play of the year on a 6-4-3 play to end the fourth, the same inning that Solomon held onto a running catch after she bounced off the right field wall.
The Sun Devils struck for their first four runs in the second inning off three singles, a walk and infield error. In the third inning, the returning Pac-12 runners-up added two more runs on a hit, outfield error, walk and sacrifice fly. ASU's final run came in the sixth inning on a homer by All-American Cheyenne Coyle - her third of the year.
For the game, Coyle (2-for-3, 3 RBI) was one of three players with a pair of hits with Elizabeth Caporuscio (2-for-4) and Chelsea Gonzales (2-for-2, RBI).
In the circle, Sun Devil senior Dallas Escobedo (3-0) struck out 10, walked two and allowed two hits en route to her second shutout of the season.
In preceding days in the tourney, the `Dogs topped returning ACC Tournament Champion N.C. State (1-0), returning Southern Conference champion Appalachian State (11-3 (6)) and UC Riverside (8-1), and narrowly fell to returning Pac-12 Champion and No. 8 Oregon,10-9, in eight innings.
For the five-game set, three Bulldogs topped .300 - Brenna Moss (.500, 7 H, RBI, 5 BB), Martin (.400, 6 H, 4 RBI, 4 BB) and Solomon (.353, 6 H, 5 RBI, SB).
On the Bulldog career lists, Moss's three stolen bases left her third in school history and only three shy of Becky Witt (second, 51).
In the circle, three pitchers ended the trip with sub-2.00 ERA's - Kiley Shae Aldridge (1.24, 0-1, 5.2 IP, 3 SO, 2 BB, .222 OppBA), Taylor Langdon (1.24, 0-0, 5.2, 1 SO, 3 BB, .238 OppBA) and Jill Compton (2-1, 1.75, 16 IP, 9 SO, 5 BB, .138 OppBA).
Looking ahead, the `Dogs return home to host the Fresno State Kick-Off next weekend. The `Dogs open against Sacramento State and UC Riverside on Friday, Feb. 14 at 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., then host Southern Utah on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and CSU Bakersfield and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m., respectively.
A complete tournament schedule is available at the http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/14-kickoff.html URL address.
"Catch the Wave!" - Follow Fresno State softball on Twitter at the *NEW* @FresnoStateSB address.
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