GAME 2: Fresno State 4, No. 19 Oklahoma State 3 (Box Score)
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team made another emphatic statement on the first day of the Cathedral City Classic with a 4-3 win over No. 19 Oklahoma State and a 4-1 victory over the ACC's Virginia at the Big League Dreams Complex in Cathedral City on Friday. The sweep improved Fresno State's undefeated start to the season to a 5-0 record.
"We want to start strong and finish strong," junior Rebecca Hall said of the Dogs' mentality.
Hall, one of four Bulldog newcomers and the latest to come through in the clutch, connected in the nightcap's second inning on a two-out, 1-2 pitch to center field for the two-RBI single to help Fresno State take the momentum early. Hall's spark of a four-run second inning proved to be enough after senior Haley Gilleland smoked a two-RBI double to the left field fence.
Moses (2-0) secured her second win in the circle with 13 strikeouts over seven innings to beat a Cowgirl team that downed No. 1 Georgia 1-0 on Thursday.
No. 19 Oklahoma State fell to 10-3 on the year with the loss.
"I thought we played a great game against a great team who had been playing well in the tournament," Wright said of beating No. 19 Oklahoma State. "Rebecca had perfect timing on the pitch and got it in the gap. Then Haley just ripped the ball and Michelle pitched a great game. We have had different heroes in every game."
Fresno State had already opened the 2011 Cathedral City Classic with a 4-1 victory over the ACC's Virginia on Friday morning at Big League Dreams' Wrigley Field.
With the Dogs trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, freshman second baseman Brooke Ortiz hit a two RBI single to center field to give Fresno State a 2-1 lead. Earlier in the game, Ortiz slapped a single through the left side for her fourth straight game with a hit.
"I was trying to take my time and stay calm," Ortiz noted of her game-winning hit against UVA. "It feels really good to get these wins as a team."
Gilleland drove in a pair in the sixth to extend the Dogs' lead to 4-1.
In the win over the Cavaliers, junior pitcher Mackenzie Oakes threw a complete game, five-hitter to move to 3-0 in her third appearance of the season.
"Amazing," Ortiz expressed simply of the two Bulldog pitching performances on Friday. "Mac came out very strong right away and Michelle's pitches were on. This year, it really feels like all of us are a family and we have great energy."
The Bulldogs are now 4-2 all-time against Virginia, who dropped to 8-4 on the season and 2-1 at the Classic, and grabbed the series lead over Oklahoma State, 7-6.
No. 19 Oklahoma State is the second team ranked in the Top 25 that the Bulldogs have beat in the past week. Fresno State also beat then No. 8 Missouri 6-3 last Friday in the San Diego Classic I.
Fresno State is scheduled to play Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
ESPN Spotlight on the Bulldogs
After the Bulldogs' 4-3 win of No. 19 Oklahoma State, Fresno State's Haley Gilleland, Michelle Moses and Mackenzie Oakes taped special segments with ESPN to be featured during the national broadcast of the game between the Bulldogs and Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine on April 1 at Bulldog Diamond.
Bulldog head coach Margie Wright, the NCAA's all-time winningest Division I fastpitch softball coach, was also interviewed on her career, the program and current topics affecting the sport of softball.
"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. Fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $39 (youth) or $65 (adult general admission) by logging on to www.gobulldogs.com, calling 559-278-DOGS or by visiting the Bulldog Ticket Office.
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