March 1, 2013
By Theresa Kurtz
By Theresa Kurtz
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Fresno State softball opened the first day of the San Diego Classic I with a 5-4 win over BYU and a 7-1 loss to No. 10 UCLA.
The Bulldogs came from behind against BYU with the help of a walk-off home run from Stesha Brazil. The junior leads the team and the Mountain West with six home runs. The Bulldogs (11-9, 0-0 MW) opened the tournament hosted by San Diego State and San Diego with a win.
"In the first game we got behind early, but the good thing is that we showed today was some fight and character," said head coach Trisha Ford. "We've lost a couple of games by a run and today we stayed calmed and steadily made a comeback. It was great to see them believe in themselves and put up those runs late in the game."
BYU took an early 3-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. Brenna Moss led off the inning for the Bulldogs with a single up the middle. She stole second and third bases and came home on an error as the `Dogs trailed 3-1 after the first inning.
Moss had two stolen bases against the Cougars and 14 on the season. The sophomore leads the team in stolen bases and is tied for the most in the conference. She also recorded a team-high three hits on the day.
The Cougars added a run in the second inning increasing their lead 4-1 over the `Dogs. Moss scored again for the Bulldogs in the third inning. Diane Runge bunted in front of home plate moving Moss to second base. The Cougars second error of the game allowed Moss to score as Fresno State trailed 4-2.
In the third inning, the Bulldogs closed the gap with another run. Maria Sio drove in the third run of the game with a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline as the `Dogs trailed BYU 4-3.
Moss led off the seventh inning with a single, her second of the game. Runge bunted Moss into scoring position with a sacrifice hit. Brazil smashed a walk-off home run to left center giving the `Dogs the win 5-4 over BYU.
Jill Compton worked five innings of scoreless relief against BYU. She struck out three Cougar batters and allowed two hits. She also started against No. 10 UCLA and had a 1-1 record in the circle.
The Bulldogs faced the nationally-ranked Bruins in the second game of the day. After the first three innings, the Bulldogs were outhitting UCLA 3-2. Moss, Runge and Paige Gumz all recorded a hit against the Bruins.
"The second game highlighted some things that we needed to work on," said Ford. "For four or four and half innings we were in the game. We made some defensive errors that cost us some runs. It's a good learning experience for our team and young pitchers. They can see what it takes to be a top 10 program."
UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the second game with a solo home run to center field. The Bruins add another run in the third inning extending their lead over the Bulldogs to 2-0. UCLA scores one in the fourth inning and took a 3-0 lead into the fifth inning.
Fresno State recorded two assists from the outfield in the night cap. Moss and Runge each recorded a putout and then threw a Bruin runner out at home plate.
"Brenna Moss had two good games and had a phenomenal play from deep center field throwing a runner out at home," Ford said. "Those are momentum things that are really going to get our team up and going bringing the momentum to our side."
The Bruins scored three runs in the sixth inning and took a 7-0 advantage in the final inning of the day. Junior Vonnie Martin reached base after earning a walk. Freshman Bria Kennedy pinch ran for Martin. Designated player Kelly Megee drove in Kennedy for the `Dogs lone run.
The Bulldogs face Utah State on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in the third game of the San Diego Classic I.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" -- Bulldog softball hits the road again March 1-3 for the San Diego Classic I. Catch the action on ESPN 790 The Deuce, home Bulldog softball. Stay connected with the Bulldogs on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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