Bulldogs Roll Past Thunderbirds, 2-0
Feb. 16, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. -The Fresno State softball team (6-2) sent its fans home with a memorable 2-0 victory over Southern Utah (1-7) Saturday night to cap second-day action in the Fresno State Kick-Off.
The `Dogs scored both their two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a two-out home run by senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (2-for-2, BB). The returning All-MW choice lofted her first homer of the year just over the left field wall and inside the foul pole, and drove in senior center fielder Brenna Moss who had singled to lead off the stanza.
"I just tried to keep my eye on the ball and do something good," Martin said. "I didn't want to over-swing and try too hard, and more wanted to focus on getting on base, so I was a little surprised that it happened. Being able to help the team felt so great, especially in such a close game - it felt just like a conference game."
The `Dogs claimed two more hits immediately after courtesy of senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (1-for-2, BB) and sophomore catcher Paige Gumz (1-for-2, BB), and a walk by junior pinch-hitter Taylor Green loaded the bases.
In comparison, the `Dogs had only one hit the prior five innings, courtesy of a single down the right field line by freshman left fielder Kierra Willis to lead off the third inning.
Notching her second shutout of the year, sophomore Fresno State pitcher Jill Compton (4-1) struck out a season-high seven batters and walked two. Among the six hits she gave up, three came in the first inning and another came each in the second and third innings.
The defense did their part, too, thanks to Moss's first-inning throw home that beat a runner attempting to score after a single up the middle. The Thunderbirds also left the bases loaded in the second inning and stranded two more in the third inning.
After that, Compton allowed only one more base-runner the final four innings - a one-out single in the seventh that ended a streak of 11 straight batters retired.
Overall for the visitors, starting pitcher Ariel Hart (0-2) struck out two, walked four, yielded five hits and two earned runs in her complete game.
The Thunderbirds' clean-up hitter Kadi Henderson (2-for-3) rapped multiple hits, and four others hit safely once.
"There were so many good things that happened," Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford said. "Vonnie's clutch hit obviously stood out, but others followed with key at-bats and hits, too. Jill settled down and pitched great from the third inning on, and moved her pitches around well. Brenna's throw home was a big boost for us, and Paige did a good job of positioning herself at the plate, too. We learned some important things tonight, and set ourselves up for a good final day."
In other games earlier Saturday, CSUB edged Sacramento State, 6-4; UCSB topped CSUB, 6-0; Sacramento State beat UC Riverside, 9-1; and UCSB dispatched Southern Utah, 4-0.
Looking ahead, the `Dogs return for third- and final-day tourney action Sunday and host CSU Bakersfield and UC Santa Barbara at 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The other two games earlier in the day include tilts at 9 a.m. (Saramento State-UC Riverside) and 11:45 a.m. (Sacramento State-UC Riverside).
A complete tournament schedule with results 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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