Feb. 11, 2012 By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team split its two games Saturday in the Fresno State Kick-Off Tournament, beating UC Riverside 7-3 before falling to Sacramento State 2-1 in nine innings.
The Bulldogs now stand at 3-1 on the year after three days of play from Bulldog Diamond.
In game one, Fresno State came back from a pair of deficits, including being down one run going into the sixth, before exploding for five runs that inning to beat the Highlanders.
In game two, the `Dogs found themselves down a run again, this time going into the bottom of the fifth. Senior catcher Kaitlin Griffin tied the game up with her sixth RBI in four games, but the Hornets stung the Bulldogs in extra innings on a game-winning RBI single from Alyssa Nakken in the ninth.
"I thought we did a good job in the first game coming from behind, [Griffin] hitting the home run like that and then everybody just started hitting the ball and it was great," head coach Margie Wright said. "Then in the second game, it's always going to be tough when you have to go to the tiebreaker because people automatically get that runner on second and they move them with a sac fly or whatever.
"We could have done that too, and we didn't execute. I think that loss was disappointing, but tomorrow we got to come out and fight harder."
Fresno State won game one, 7-3, over UC Riverside. Freshman pitcher Kiley Shae Aldridge picked up the win in her first career appearance.
Riverside jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, but Griffin got those runs back for the Bulldogs with a two-run homer to left in the third.
UCR broke the 2-2 tie in the sixth with one run that came home when pinch-hitter Taylor Alvarez was hit by a pitch when the bases were loaded.
Fresno State came right back in the bottom of the sixth with five runs off of five hits and one UCR error to bring the Bulldogs back for the victory.
Stesha Brazil started the rally with a RBI single that scored Brenna Moss to tie the game. Andrea Ortega brought home a pair with a bases-loaded single and the freshmen Taylor Green and Mario Sio both drove one run each.
A leadoff double from Nakken in the top of the fourth led to the first run of the game. Emily McCormick drove her home to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead, which held until the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Griffin was able to single home Ortega from second to tie the game and the score remained 1-1 going into extra innings.
In the top of the ninth, Nakken drove in Kelli Frye on a single up the middle that just got under the glove of Michelle Moses to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead.
Fresno State had runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Bison pitcher Taylor Stroud shut the `Dogs down to hand Fresno State its first loss of the season.
Stroud threw six innings of relief to improve to 2-0 on the year. The loss spoiled a strong effort from Moses, the Bulldog ace, who threw all nine innings. Moses only allowed five hits, two runs (one earned) and she had nine strikeouts with no walks in the game.
"We Are Your Team" - Fresno State concludes the 2012 Kick-Off Tournament on Sunday with a 2 p.m. game against Long Beach State. Fans can listen to the game on ESPN2 790 AM with Guy Haberman calling the Bulldog action.
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