April 15, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - Powered by a pair of home runs and a four-hitter by a Bulldog rookie, the No. 24 Fresno State softball team picked up a 9-1, 6 inning Western Athletic Conference victory over New Mexico State.
Sophomore left fielder Ashley White and freshman Haley Perkins provided the power as each hit a two-run home run while freshman pitcher Merryann Barr limited the Aggies to four hits and struck out a season-high seven as Fresno State improved to 28-13 overall and 6-1 in WAC play.
In the second with two outs and a runner on second, White gave the 'Dogs an early 2-0 lead when she homered to left field for her first of the season. In the third with a runner on, Perkins hit a line drive home run down the right field line to increase the lead to 4-0.
In the top of the fourth, New Mexico State (23-16, 5-6 WAC) picked up its run on a two-out solo home run by first baseman Mailei Hilva.
In the fifth, Fresno State scored three runs on two outs. After Barr singled to left field and Sylvester, who led the inning off with a hit to left, moved to second, sophomore second baseman Jenna Cervantez singled up the middle to load the bases. White picked up a RBI on a fielder's choice to score Sylvester as all the runners remained safe on an attempted out at second to get Cervantez. Junior center fielder Shannon Garvin singled to center field to plate Barr and keep the bases loaded. Senior All-America shortstop Christina Walk stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded but NMSU would not pitch to her as she ended up walking for the fourth straight at bat -- tying the school's single-game record for most walks in a game. Before Clark walked, however, a wild pitch by NMSU reliever Rachel Lopez allowed Cervantez to score.
In the sixth, Sylvester led the inning off with a single up the middle. Junior catcher Nichole Willis followed with a single to right. After a Bulldog out, Barr reached via walk to load the bases. Cervantez answered with a RBI single to right before White ended the game with a sacrifice fly to right to give the Bulldogs an eight run lead and run-rule victory.
In the game, each Fresno State batter had at least a hit except Clark, who was walked four times -- tying the WAC's single-game record in league play. She now shares the record with former Bulldog All-American Nina Lindenberg, who was walked four times against Utah in conference play on March 1, 1997.
On the day, Clark was walked five times to increase her season total to 37 and her career total to 108. Now having been walked the second-highest number of times in a season, she is six shy of former Bulldog All-American Gina LoPiccolo, who was walked 43 times in 1991 to lead the NCAA that year. In her career, Clark is three shy of tying the school and WAC's all-time walk record of 111, which is held by former Bulldog Lindsay Fossatti.
Winning her third straight, Barr improved to 5-2 in the circle after scattering four hits while allowing a run and fanning a personal-best seven.
NMSU starter Kim Watson took the loss and fell to 7-6 overall after yielding four runs on three hits while walking two in two innings of work. Lopez pitched the final 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Winners of eight straight and 10 of last 11, Fresno State continues conference play at home next week when the Bulldogs host Hawai'i, Fri.-Sat., April 21-22.
Fresno State will host its Third Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Night and honor its faculty/staff next Friday.
Sponsored by the Marjaree Mason Center and Fresno State's Women's Resource Center, this night is in honor and memory of Bulldog head coach Margie Wright's sister, who was a victim in April 2003. In conjunction with the Marjaree Mason Center, there will be a fund drive to collect loose change in memory of Wright's sister as well as a drop off area at Bulldog Diamond in which paper products such as copy paper, toilet paper, diapers, etc., will be accepted. For those who donate products, they will receive a 2-for-1 coupon for admission to any 2007 regular-season home game at Bulldog Diamond. Last May, more than $3,000 dollars from loose change was collected and presented to the Marjaree Mason Center. For information on the Domestic Violence Awareness Night, phone (559) 278-6833. To donate or find out more about domestic violence, phone the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 237-4706.
The Bulldogs also will celebrate the contributions of campus professors and faculty/staff on Friday night. Fresno State faculty/staff need only show their ID to the portable ticket office outside of Bulldog Diamond to receive free admission for themselves and family members. For more information on this event, phone Nick Grim at (559) 278-4417 or the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-3647.
Still further, Saturday is Youth Softball Day and the Annual Diamond Club bar-b-que. Youth teams that sign up will be receive a free set of softball trading cards. Tickets are $5 and the admission price also includes a hot dog and soda. The deadline to order tickets is Wed., April 19. For more information on this event, phone (559) 278-4417. In addition, the Diamond Club will host its annual bar-b-que that same day. A $15 ticket will get fans tri-tip or chicken, salad, pilaf, beans, rolls and drinks. Reservations can be made by phoning (559) 278-6833. The deadline to order tickets to the bar-b-que is also Wednesday.
Bulldog softball single-game tickets can be purchased online at www.gobulldogs.com or through the Bulldog Ticket Office.
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