Dogs Blast No. 8 Missouri, 6-3
UPDATE (2/19 - 9:30 a.m.): Due to inclement weather conditions that made the USD and SDSU fields unplayable today (Saturday), Fresno State will not play UC Davis or San Diego as previously scheduled. Both games will not be rescheduled for a future date.
Fresno State (3-0) will return to the diamond on Friday in the Cathedral City Classic against Virginia and No. 20/20 Oklahoma State.
Feb. 18, 2011
SAN DIEGO - The Fresno State softball team blasted three home runs and played spectacular defense despite a steady swirling wind and late game rain to beat No. 8 Missouri 6-3 on Friday at the San Diego State Softball Stadium.
"This is a great win for us," head softball coach Margie Wright said. "They jumped right on us, but we settled down and we were going to make it happen. We can do this any game on any day."
The Tigers, who advanced to the 2010 Women's College World Series, came out swinging and quickly scored two runs behind gap hits by MU's Rhea Taylor (double), Jenna Marston (triple) and Ashley Fleming (double) for a 2-0 Missouri lead before the Bulldogs recorded an out in the top of the first inning.
Junior Fresno State pitcher Michelle Moses (1-0), who earned her second start of the season, then shut down Missouri's early momentum and tossed a masterpiece the rest of the way.
"We needed to stop their momentum and we did that," Wright noted.
In the bottom of the first, Fresno State wasted no time and struck right back. Moses, the reigning WAC Hitter of the Week, extended the inning by reaching on a fielder's choice to give cleanup hitter Courtney Moore an at-bat with Moses at first base. Moore, on the first pitch, sent a two-out, two-run home run clear over the left field fence to even the tilt at 2-2.
"To come right back and score, that was huge," Wright added.
After the Tigers' Abby Vock hit a solo home run just inside the left field foul pole, the Bulldogs responded with four of their own in the bottom of the second, including two more long bombs to left field. Senior Nicole Angene led off and launched a 3-2 pitch over the wall. Moses completed the scoring by slugging a three-run home run to give Fresno State a 6-3 lead after the first two frames.
With the home run, Moses passed former Bulldogs Kim Maher and Amanda for sole possession of third place all-time in career home runs at Fresno State with 32.
Moses retired ten straight Tigers from the final out of the second inning through the end of the fifth inning and later stifled Missouri's futile comeback effort with 5.1 scoreless innings to finish her first complete game of the season and 12th as a Bulldog.
"Michelle pitched well and our defense made some really key plays for us," Wright said.
The twisting wind made any fly ball or pop up a challenge, yet nearly every Bulldog position player made a key defensive play down the stretch. A few of the highlights came when second baseman Becca Walker snagged a fly ball past Fresno State's dugout in foul territory, third baseman Brooke Ortiz also caught a foul ball and centerfielder Demi Walker made a tough catch at the warning track.
With the win, Fresno State improved to 3-0 on the season. The Bulldogs are now 9-0 all-time against the Tigers. No. 8 Missouri had run-ruled No. 22 San Diego State 9-1 last night and moved to 1-1 on the season after the loss to the Bulldogs.
Fresno State is expecting to play No. 10 Washington at 7 p.m. later tonight (weather permitting). Keep checking www.gobulldogs.com for updates and make sure to follow @FSAthletics on Twitter for updates from San Diego.
Junior pitcher Michelle Moses (1-0) hit a home run in her third straight game and won her first game in the circle this season. She was a 2011 Preseason All-WAC honoree and a 2010 All-West Region selection. On the season, she is batting .636 (7 for 11) with three home runs, a triple, a double, seven RBI, 19 total bases and five runs scored.
Moses passed former Bulldogs Kim Maher and Amanda for sole possession of third place all-time in career home runs at Fresno State with 32.
Fresno State remained perfect against Missouri and extended its record to 9-0 all-time against the Tigers.
Freshmen Demi Walker, an outfielder from Corcoran, Calif., and Brooke Ortiz, an infielder from Lodi, Calif., have hit safely in all three games this season. On the year, Walker and Ortiz are both hitting .364 (4 for 11). Walker connected for a pair of singles and Ortiz added one of her own against No. 8 Missouri.
Haley Gilleland, another of the Bulldogs' preseason All-WAC selections, went 1 for 4 today and moved her batting average to .308 on the season.
Wright closed to within 11 wins of her 1,400th career victory. She has now won 1,389 games over her 31-year career at Fresno State and Illinois State. Wright is in her 26h season with the Dogs.
Fresno State-No. 10/11 Washington Game Rained Out
The 7 p.m. game between Fresno State (3-0) and No. 10/11 Washington (6-0) has been canceled due to heavy rain. The two teams will meet on March 17 at 11 a.m. in Fullerton, Calif. during the first day of the Judi Garmen Classic in a previously scheduled game.
"We Are Your Team!" --- Fresno State takes to the road for the next month and returns to Bulldog Diamond on March 10 when the Dogs host the 2011 Bayer CropScience Classic.