April 5, 2011
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Bulldog softball team rallied from a four-run deficit before painfully dropping a road non-conference game to Pacific Tigers 5-4 after 11 innings.
Pacific (22-12) jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a run in the second and three more in the third off Bulldog starter Mackenzie Oakes.
In the top of fourth, Fresno State designated player Courtney Moore launched a solo home run to left to start the comeback.
A gutsy seventh-inning rally started when Gilleland drew a one-out walk followed by a Brooke Ortiz single to left. Tiger pitcher Nikki Armagost then hit Moses with a pitch to load the bases with one out.
After Moore grounded into a fielder's choice that retired Gilleland at home, but allowed Ortiz to scamper home on a throwing error by the Tigers' catcher Amy Moore to pull the Dogs back within one.
Caitlin Stiglich, a senior with a history of coming through in clutch situations throughout her Bulldog career, landed a two-out, two-strike RBI single in left field grass to plate Moses and even the score at 4-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Moses mowed down the Tigers that forced the third extra-inning game of the year for the Bulldogs.
Despite giving themselves multiple opportunities to take the lead in extra innings, Fresno State couldn't muster a run and lost on a heartbreaker of a spinning slap hit that bounced away from the Dogs' charging shortstop Gilleland in the 11th inning to score UOP's Kelsey Rodriguez.
The run snapped a 28.1 scoreless streak by Moses that dated back to a 10-1 win at LA Tech and ended the Bulldogs' seven-game win streak.
Fresno State moved to 2-1 in extra-inning games this season as the Bulldogs previously earned an 11-inning 5-4 win over Sacramento State and a nine-frame 2-1 victory at Louisiana Tech.
The Dogs will return to WAC action in a critical first-place showdown at New Mexico State on Friday and Saturday during a three-game series in Las Cruces, N.M.
Both teams enter the weekend an undefeated 6-0 against conference opponents.
"We Are Your Team!" --- Fresno State will visit New Mexico State (April 8-9) for a first-place showdown before returning to Bulldog Diamond to host San Jose State on April 15 at 6 p.m. and an April 16 doubleheader that starts at 1 p.m. Make sure to stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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