Feb. 23, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Behind the bats of seniors Stesha Brazil and Vonnie Martin, the Fresno State softball team (10-4) opened final-day action Sunday in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a 6-2 victory over LIU Brooklyn (4-10).
The `Dogs scored three runs in both the fourth and seventh innings, while the Blackbirds plated one run each in the fourth and fifth innings.
In the third inning, the senior first baseman Brazil cracked her fourth homer of the year and 20th of her career deep over the left field wall.
The Turlock, Calif., native still ranks eighth all-time for the `Dogs with her second homer in as many days (and third the last five games), and drove in sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith and senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz who had singled prior.
In the seventh inning, Fresno State added a pair of runs on a two-out, two-run single by senior third baseman Vonnie Martin to right field after a pinch-hit double by Taylor Green and singles by junior center fielder Brenna Moss and senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz. The `Dogs' final run came next at-bat as the shortstop booted a hard hit grounder from Brazil to score Ortiz.
For the game, Ortiz (2-for-4) logged her second straight multi-hit game and fourth of the season, while Martin (2-for-3, 2 RBI) claimed her second.
Smith was one of four Bulldogs who hit safely once, and she also boosted the defense with a diving catch behind second base to end the first inning with two runners on.
Bulldog starter and sophomore right-hander Jill Compton (6-3) struck out five, walked five, allowed four hits, and neither of her two runs allowed were earned.
LIU Brooklyn starter Shelley Procter (4-5) pitched the opening 3.1 innings, struck out one, walked two, and allowed three hits. Two batters after she gave up Brazil's homer, she was relieved by Cassie Vondrak who worked the final 3.2 innings, struck out two, walked one, and allowed five hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned.
Four Blackbird batters hit safely once - Lauren Morizi, Whitney West, Ariana Lopez and Madison Green.
LIU Brooklyn's first run in the fourth inning came after a walk, infield error on a dropped pop fly and RBI single by Green to third base.
In the fifth, LIU's last run came on a single, dropped outfield fly ball, bloop single along the left field line, and sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Blackbirds didn't go down without a fight and brought the tying run to the plate after two walks and an infield error, but Compton got the bases-load pop-out to shortstop to cinch her fifth complete game of the year.
Looking ahead, the `Dogs wrap up tourney play with a tilt vs. No. 2 Tennessee Sunday afternoon that will likely start sometime after 5 p.m., depending on how long the Vols' match-up with Stanford takes and started at 2:30 p.m.
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