FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team moved into second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings after posting a solid 4-2 victory over the San Jose State Spartans on another picturesque Friday evening at Bulldog Diamond.
"This was a good win," Bulldog starting pitcher Michelle Moses said. "We were ready to play and put hits together when we needed them."
Moses returned to the winner's circle for the tenth time this season and improved to 5-1 at home. She retired 10 of the first 11 Spartans she faced and cruised to her 12th complete game of the season.
The Dogs notched their first two runs in the second inning as Andrea Ortega ripped an RBI double down the left field to score senior catcher Catilin Stiglich, who led off the frame with a single through the left side. Junior Kaylan Pollard picked up her first career hit and RBI two batters later when she poked an opposite field single through the hole between SJSU's first and second basemen.
"It felt great - words can't explain it," a beaming Pollard said of connecting on the second pitch she saw from Spartan starter Jennifer Ames.
"We needed to come in and hit and score to get back in the groove and that's what we did," Stiglich said of how the team responded from a tough Saturday in Las Cruces a week ago.
San Jose State got on the board courtesy of an Amanda Schatz fourth-inning solo homer to left that cut the Bulldogs' lead to 2-1.
Fresno State added two crucial insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth after the Dogs worked the bases loaded and plated both on the same play. SJSU's Elyssa Fox hurled a wild pitch that allowed pinch runner Diane Runge to score from third and Ortega scampered home on an errant throw error back to plate by catcher Dorothy Morentin that pushed Fresno State in front, 4-1.
That's all the offensive support Moses needed as the junior Paso Robles-native struck out 10 total and allowed just three hits all night. The only other run the Spartans scored came when Brandee Garcia lifted a home run to left in the sixth.
On the night, Stiglich went 2-for-2 and Ortega tallied a 2-for-3 clip as each recorded a double and single. Rebecca Hall also smacked a double. As a team, Fresno State scattered eight hits in the one hour and 46 minute contest.
Fresno State (24-11, 8-2 WAC) remained a game behind WAC-leading New Mexico State, who muscled past Nevada 12-7 to improve to 9-1 in conference play, and the Dogs pulled even with Boise State after the Broncos lost a 4-3 nail-biter to Utah State.
"We just need to do our job," Wright said. "We played better tonight. Michelle got some key strikeouts and we had some timely hitting. Now we have to be ready for tomorrow."
The win improved Fresno State's home record 12-1 this year. The Dogs will host the WAC Tournament May 11-14 and all-session passes can be purchased at www.gobulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs and Spartans will return to the field on a special Saturday of softball that begins at 1 p.m.
Fresno State will don purple jerseys for the first time to raise awareness for domestic violence. Fans are encouraged to also wear purple and support the Marjaree Mason Center with either a cash or daily essential donation. All fans who make a donation will receive free admission to the series-closing doubleheader.
Daily essentials suggestions include: Towels Wash Cloths Large bottles of shampoo (baby and adult) Tooth paste Tooth brushes Old cell phones Cleaning supplies Paper products Gift cards Bus tokens
"We Are Your Team!" --- Fresno State will hold its 8th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Day on Saturday during its WAC doubleheader with San Jose State that starts at 1 p.m. The first 100 fans through the gates will receive a free purple Fresno State "Leave the Hitting on the Field - Fresno State Against Domestic Violence" t-shirt. Make sure to stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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