`Dogs Rally Past Aggies in Finale, 4-3
March 30, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - Thanks to a two-run seventh inning, the Fresno State softball team (19-12, 4-2) capped an impressive first conference home stand with a 4-3 win over Utah State (13-17, 4-2) Sunday afternoon.
The Aggies led a majority of the game after single runs in the first and second innings, while the `Dogs answered with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to re-tie the game.
Utah State retook the lead, 3-2, in the top of the seventh inning, but Fresno State second baseman Whitney Smith ended the contest a half-inning later with an RBI single just past the diving right fielder.
Senior first baseman Stesha Brazil followed with a walk, and senior third baseman Vonnie Martin added her first double of the season to move Brazil to third base and set Smith up for her second-game-winning hit of the year.
"I loved our energy and fight today," head coach Trisha Ford said. "Today's win didn't come as easily as earlier this weekend, but was equally important. We hit the ball hard early but didn't have a lot of luck until late in the game. We hung in there and it paid off. Jill (Compton) pitched well in relief, and it was good to see her pick up the team."
Fresno State's first run came in the fourth inning after Brazil led off with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt, and was followed by a Smith walk and RBI double by junior DP Kelly Megee.
The `Dogs added their second run in the fifth inning after a one-out double by Ortiz, walk by Brazil, and an error on the second baseman on a hard-hit grounder by Martin.
Overall for the game, nine Bulldog players hit safely, and two claimed multi-hits - Ortiz (2-for-4, 2 runs) and Megee (2-for-2, RBI) and the latter enjoyed a season-high two hits in her fifth start of the season and first of the weekend.
Utah State scored its first runs of the series in the first inning after a single by Victoria Sauceda & double by Hailey Froton. Its third-inning run came after singles by Allison Lenzora and Jo Koons, a sacrifice bunt, and a RBI single by Sauceda.
The visitor's final run came in the seventh inning after a walk to Lenzora and triple by Koons to deep center field.
Bulldog starter Hannah Harris pitched the first three innings, and the sophomore right-hander struck out one, walked none, and gave up six hits and two earned runs.
Sophomore Jill Compton (12-6) pitched the final four innings, struck out six, walked three, and allowed only one hit and one earned run.
In her first appearance of the series, Utah State starter Mariah Peterson (0-4) pitched all 6.1 innings, struck out one, walked five, gave up 11 hits, and three of her of four runs allowed were earned.
Earlier in the series, Fresno State won Friday (6-0) and Saturday (8-0) in five innings to hand the Aggies their first MW losses of the campaign after they swept Colorado State at home last weekend. Sunday's outcome also extended the 'Dogs series win streak to 21 games dating back to 2006.
For the three-game series, Brazil led the team in hitting (.625), slugging (.875), on-base percentage (.727) and stolen bases (3).
Six other Bulldog starters also topped +.300 - junior center fielder Brenna Moss (.455, 5H, 2B, 2 RBI), senior left fielder Kapri Angotti (.429, 3H, SB), sophomore catcher Paige Gumz (.429, 3H, 2B), Smith (.375, 3H, BB), Ortiz (.364, 4H, 2B, 2 3B, RBI) and Solomon (.364, 4H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, SB).
With her 2-0 weekend mark, Compton also led the team in ERA (0.64), opposing batting average (.114), strikeouts (11) and fewest hits allowed (4) in her 11 innings.
Harris got the other win in her five-inning shutout Saturday, and her combined weekend stats follow - 1.75, 3 SO, 1 BB, 8.0 IP.
Looking ahead, Fresno State next travels to Pacific for a single game at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, then plays three contests at New Mexico next Friday-Sunday, April 4-6.
Fresno State 4, Utah State 3 (Mar 30, 2014 at Fresno, Calif.)
Utah State 101 000 1 - 3 7 2 (13-17, 3-3 MW) Fresno State 000 110 2 - 4 11 0 (19-12, 4-2 MW)
Pitchers: Utah State - PETERSON, M. and HART, S.; LARSEN, S.. Fresno State - Harris, Hannah; COMPTON, Jill(4) and Gumz, Paige. Win-COMPTON, Jill(12-6) Loss-PETERSON, M.(0-4) T-1:49 A-1095. Weather: 57, partly sunny, wind 0-3mph.
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