March 29, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team (18-12, 3-2) posted its fourth regulation-shortened win of the season via the eight-run rule against Utah State (13-16, 3-2) Saturday afternoon.
In the 8-0,five-inning victory, the `Dogs claimed eight runs on nine hits and added four more stolen bases after swiping a season-high seven the night before.
The `Dogs scored two runs in the first inning then added one in the second stanza, three in the fourth and two more with no outs in the fifth inning in the one hour and two-minute contest.
"We talked a lot this week about executing better," senior first baseman Stesha Brazil said, "and it paid off today. Last week we had a lot of hits in the finale vs. Boise State, but we were much better at driving in base runners today. We were more patient at the plate and picked better pitches to hit. Timing is everything, and we were excited to squeeze the game in before the weather changed."
In the first inning, Fresno State's first two runs came on a single and stolen base by senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz that waere followed by RBI singles by junior right fielder Michelle Solomon and Brazil.
In the second inning, after a hit by pitch and sacrifice bunt, junior center fielder Brenna Moss followed with an RBI single up the middle.
In the fourth inning a pair of two-out singles by sophomore catcher Paige Gumz and senior left fielder Kapri Angotti were followed by a two-base, two-run error on Moss's grounder to the third baseman that was overthrown to first base. Ortiz followed with an RBI triple past the right fielder that rolled to the wall for her second three-bagger of the season.
In the fifth inning, Brazil led off with her second triple of the year to right field, and after a walk to senior third baseman Vonnie Martin, a stolen base by freshman pinch-runner Christina Rodriguez set up sophomore Whitney Smith's two-run, game-ending single up the middle.
For the game, two Bulldogs hit safely twice - Brazil (2-for-3, RBI) and Ortiz (2-for-3, RBI).
Six other Fresno State batters hit safely once, and four stole single bases.
In the circle for the `Dogs, sophomore Hannah Harris (5-4) pitched her third complete game of 2014, struck out two, walked one, and allowed a season-low two hits among her 10 starts on the year.
"Today was a great combined team effort," Harris said. "We had good focus from the start. Offensively our hitters got it done, and defensively we got to every ball, too. Coach Ford spent a lot of time with us (pitchers) this week working on our location, and it really helped me get ahead today. Even when they got base runners on, I had complete faith in my defense and tried to set them up for ground ball outs."
Aggie starter Noelle Johnson (12-10) pitched the first four innings, posted one strikeout and no walks, gave up seven hits and three of her six runs allowed were earned.
Reliever Abby Indreland pitched the fifth inning, and allowed two hits, two earned runs and one walk among the three batters she faced.
Two Utah State players hit safely once - Vic Saucedo (1-for-2) and Allison Lenzora (1-for-2) - in the first and third innings, while Jo Koons also walked in the third inning.
Looking ahead, the two teams play again in the series finale on Sunday at 11 a.m. (and adjusted from earlier schedules due to weather forecasts).
Fresno State 8, Utah State 0 (Mar 29, 2014 at Fresno, Calif.)
Utah State 000 00 - 0 2 2 (13-16, 3-2 MW) Fresno State 210 32 - 8 9 0 (18-12, 3-2 MW)
Pitchers: Utah State - JOHNSON, N.; INDRELAND, A(5) and KOONS, J.. Fresno State - Harris, Hannah and Gumz, Paige. Win-HARRIS, Hannah(5-4) Loss-JOHNSON, N.(12-10) T-102 A-921. Weather: 72, partly sunny, wind 0-3mph. INDRELAND, A faced 3 batters in the 5th.
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