March 16, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team (15-10) wrapped up its sixth and final regular season tournament with a gutsy 3-0 win against St. Mary's (9-17) in the Fresno State Classic Sunday afternoon.
In a game that lasted only one hour and 13 minutes, the `Dogs staked their sixth shutout of the year and the fourth of the season behind sophomore pitcher Jill Compton (10-4).
The All-MW returnee from Oceano, Calif., struck out four, gave up four hits, and walked none for the first time among her 14 starts this season.
Offensively, the `Dogs broke the scoreless tie with a three-run sixth inning that was started by a single by senior third baseman Vonnie Martin, walk by freshman left fielder Kierra Willis and single by senior first baseman Stesha Brazil.
For the game, seven Bulldogs hit safely, including Green who hit her third double of the season in the fifth inning, along with singles from junior center fielder Brenna Moss (1-for-3), Willis (1-for-2) and sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (1-for-3).
For St. Mary's, Sarah Lira (5-5) also pitched a complete game, walked one, gave up seven hits and logged no strikeouts.
The Gaels claimed their first hit in the fourth inning on a bunt that was followed by an overthrow to first base that advanced the runner to second base. After a ground-out pushed the runner to third base, Compton got a ground-out to end the inning.
St. Mary's also singled once in the sixth and twice in the seventh inning, but Compton responded by retiring subsequent batters each time.
"We played solid all around today, and it usually starts in the circle," Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford said. "Jill pitched her best game of the weekend. She had good command of the strike zone and kept their hitters off balance. We had some clutch hits again, including another double from Taylor deep to left field. We scrapped together another win partly because we changed our offensive philosophy and put more pressure on their defense by trying to hit more ground balls. Our defense was pretty good, too, and Brenna made several hard catches look easy."
For the five games on the weekend, five Bulldog starters topped .300 - Moss (.375, 6H, 2B, 2 SB), Willis (.364, 4H, RBI, 2 BB, SB), Solomon (.357, 5H, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB), Brazil (.333, 5H, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB) and Smith (.308, 4H, 2B, 2 RBI).
Compton led the team in the circle with a 3-0 record and 0.84 ERA in her four appearances and 25.0 innings, and struck out 22, walked seven, allowed 18 hits and only three earned runs.
Team-wise earlier in the weekend, Fresno State beat Ohio State (3-1) and New Mexico State (6-4), and lost to Pacific (5-3) and Cal Poly (6-1).
A complete tournament schedule with scores is available at the http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/14-fresno-state-classic.html URL address.
Looking ahead, the 'Dogs open the conference slate next weekend at Boise State with a three-game set, Fri.-Sun., March 21-23. The following weekend, Fresno State welcomes Utah State to Bulldog Diamond for three games, Fri.-Sun., March 28-30.
Fresno State 3, St. Mary's 0 (Mar 16, 2014 at Fresno, Calif.)
St. Mary's 000 000 0 - 0 4 1 (9-17) Fresno State 000 003 X - 3 7 1 (15-10)
"Catch the Wave!" - Follow Fresno State softball on Twitter at the *NEW* @FresnoStateSB address.
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