Feb. 9, 2012 By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - Fueled by three home runs, including a grand slam from senior Courtney Moore, the Fresno State softball team opened the 2012 season with a 9-1 victory in five innings over Toledo Thursday night at Bulldog Diamond.
Moore's grand slam, which was the 30th in program history, came in the third inning and started a long-ball onslaught for the Bulldogs in their opening game of the Fresno State Kick-Off Tournament.
Fresno State (1-0) gave up an unearned run in the top of the third to fall behind early. Moore came up with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, and after swinging at the first pitch, received three-straight balls before hammering the grand slam to left-center.
"I swung at the first pitch and it was outside, I think I was just so anxious because we needed to score," Moore said. "I looked at coach and she told me to relax, and that was exactly what I needed. It was a 3-1 pitch, a hitter's count and my favorite count, and I felt like I got a lot of it."
After Moore's blast put Fresno State on-top 4-1, the Bulldogs came back with five runs in the fifth to run-rule the Rockets (0-2) who had lost in extra-innings to North Dakota State in the opening game of the tournament.
"Courtney's grand slam kind of loosened everybody up and Mackenzie [Oakes] did a good job [in the circle]," head coach Margie Wright said. "We never should have given up that one run, but we did, but I thought it was great how the team rallied and came right back."
Senior Michelle Moses led off the fifth inning with a monster solo home run, which gave her a homer on opening day for the second year in a row. After a RBI single from freshman shortstop Maria Sio, senior catcher Kaitlin Griffin ended the game with a three-run homer down the left-field line.
"I think it's great and speaks pretty highly of what the senior class wants to do, three of them at the plate and then [Mackenzie Oakes] in the circle," Wright said when asked about the seniors starting Thursday's rally. "I think they sent a message to their teammates tonight."
Senior pitcher Mackenzie Oakes picked up the win in the circle for Fresno State. She only gave up two hits in the five innings and the one unearned run in the top of the third. Oakes struck out six batters and only walked one.
Fresno State had eight hits in the game, all from different batters.
For the Bulldogs, the win marks their fifth-straight year that they have won their season-opener.
"We Are Your Team" - The Bulldogs return to the field tomorrow at 7 p.m. to face North Dakota State and the game is being broadcast live on ESPN2 790 AM with the call from Guy Haberman.
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