FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team beat San Jose State twice on Saturday afternoon - a nine-inning 2-1 win and 6-1 victory in the series finale - to complete a three-game sweep of the Spartans at the midway point of Western Athletic Conference action.
The sweep kept Fresno State (26-11, 10-2 WAC) a single game back of New Mexico State (32-12, 11-1 WAC) in the conference standings with nine games remaining in the regular season.
"We hit the ball much better today and had some hard hit balls that went right to people," 26th-year head coach Margie Wright said. "Our defense was solid and both Mackenzie and Michelle pitched very well. We just need to stay focused on taking care of our own business."
Junior Andrea Ortega, who moved up to the two-spot in the Bulldogs' lineup, went 5-for7 in the two games to complete a weekend where she hit .700 (7-for-10), scored five runs and clubbed two doubles. She scored the game-winning run when Rebecca Hall smacked a walk-off RBI single up the middle to cap the day's first win.
"We wanted to play as hard as we could and it was a nice feeling being back at home," Ortega said. "The team was there to pick you up and it worked out for all of us."
Oakes fired her 11th complete game, struck out five and allowed just one run in a gutsy performance that powered the Bulldogs to the 2-1 victory in Saturday's opening game. During the contest, the Dogs turned three double plays - one shy of the 22-year-old school record of four in 1989 against Pacific. Fresno State is now 3-1 in extra inning affairs this season.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring when the Dogs' 7-8-9 hitters - Courtney Moore, Kaylan Pollard and Brooke Ortiz - delivered three consecutive second-inning singles and plated Moore when SJSU leftfielder Sadie Coenen misplayed Ortiz's single to give Fresno State an early 1-0 advantage.
The Spartans scrapped a run across in the seventh to force the extra frames, where the Dogs threatened in the eighth and ended it in the ninth on Hall's game-winner.
"I knew that my team has my back and I have theirs," Oakes said. "We know this field and it's our turf. We practice it on it every day and we never want to let our fans down."
Moses threw a sensational complete game of her own and held the Spartans to three hits and a single run in the seventh as the Bulldogs' bats caught fire in the 6-1 triumph.
Fresno State plated a run in first, two in the second and three in the third while belting nine hits throughout the park.
With the two wins on Saturday, the Dogs improved to 14-1 at home, including a 6-0 clip during WAC play. The Bulldogs also swept then-No. 20/25 and defending WAC champ Hawai'i two weeks ago.
"This is a great atmosphere to play in and what we have been working for our whole lives," Moses said of playing at Bulldog Diamond.
Fresno State will now embark on a six-game road trek to Utah State (April 22-23) and Boise State (April 29-30) before closing WAC regular season action versus Nevada (May 6-7) at Bulldog Diamond. The Dogs then will host the top six conference finishers for the 2011 WAC Tournament from May 11-14. All-session tournament tickets are on sale now at www.gobulldogs.com.
Dogs Wear Purple Jerseys for First Time to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness
On Saturday, the Bulldog softball team wore purple jerseys to help raise domestic violence awareness, in honor of head coach Margie Wright's late sister. The first 100 fans at Saturday's game also received a limited edition free purple Fresno State t-shirt with the phrase "Leave the Hitting on the Field - Fresno State Against Domestic Violence."
"We Are Your Team!" -- After a six-game road trip, the Bulldogs will return home to host Nevada on May 6 (6 p.m.) and May 7 (1/3 p.m.) in the final WAC weekend.
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