April 23, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After notching another of the Bulldogs' most memorable pitching efforts, sophomore Jill Compton helped the Fresno State softball team (26-17, 10-5) take the season series with San Jose State (25-20, 8-7) with a 2-0 win in the finale Wednesday afternoon.
En route to her second career no-hitter, the sophomore right-hander (17-7) also logged her seventh shutout of the year. In the seven-inning contest, she struck out seven Spartans - her second-highest tally on the season - and allowed five walks.
"The defense played great," Compton said, "and made several great catches that could have been hits. I was glad I could bounce back from yesterday, and it felt great just to get the win. Paige (Gumz, catcher) and I had a good sense of what was working, and she had a lot of good frames that were called strikes. With all the walks, I didn't know it was a no-hitter until the sixth inning, and it didn't change my thinking - I kept trying to challenge each batter."
Compton became the 16th Bulldog pitcher since 1980 to author a pair of no-hitters, while her first came as a freshman vs. St. Mary's in the Santa Clara Tournament (4-0, 2/23/13).
The returning NCAA Tournament advancer Spartans stranded five runners for the game, and Compton helped herself defensively with a key double play in the fourth inning. With a runner on first and no outs, clean-up hitter Jessie Hufstetler lined a shot back to Compton, and after making the catch, she got the baserunner at first base leaning the wrong way.
For the game, San Jose State advanced only one runner into scoring position - in the sixth inning. After a lead-off walk, a one-out steal of second base was followed by a strikeout looking of the team's home run leader Jessica Garcia. After an intentional walk of Hufstetler, Compton got SJSU's fifth hitter Sharon-Renae Estrada on a foul pop to first base to end the threat.
"Coach came out that inning and told me to stay confident and hit my spots," Compton said. "She reminded me that I had been getting them out all day and to pitch smart. Brooke also gave me a lot of positive support and helped keep me focused."
Among other defensive gems, freshman left fielder Kierra Willis also made a running catch in the fifth inning on a sinking line drive, while senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz made an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center field to open the sixth inning.
At the plate, six Bulldogs hit safely once, and senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (1-for-3) and senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (1-for-2) clubbed their third and fourth doubles of the season in the first and sixth innings, respectively.
Junior center fielder Brenna Moss (1-for-4) accounted for Fresno State's first run and her team-leading 35th of the year in the third inning. The All-MW returnee beat out a chopper to the pitcher to lead off, and advanced on a bunt single by Ortiz (1-for-2), a fielder's choice grounder and RBI ground out by Brazil.
The latter player claimed her fourth game-winning hit of the year - one shy of the team lead.
After her one-out double to center field in the sixth inning, Brazil scored on a single to right field by junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (1-for-3) for the game's other run.
Among other offensive notes, freshman pinch-runner Christina Rodriguez stole her fourth base of the season in the third inning.
For SJSU in the circle, right-hander Madison Fish (8-4) notched her third complete game of 2014, struck out two, walked one and scattered six hits.
At the plate for the Spartans, Garcia walked twice, and three others walked once.
"This was a big win," Fresno State softball head coach Trisha Ford said. "From her first pitch, Jill had extra pep in her step, and was really focused and confident. Overall, we played good clean softball, and did a lot of little things right, like getting our bunts down and ground balls to advance runners. Michelle (Solomon) came back with a clutch RBI, and we had some stellar defensive plays from Brooke and Kierra that gave us extra momentum."
Including the `Dogs' doubleheader split from Tuesday (an 8-1 win and 5-3 loss), six `Dogs topped .300 for the three games - Moss (.462, 6-for-13, 4 R, 2 SB), sophomore catcher Paige Gumz (.444, 4-for-9, RBI), Martin (.400, 4-for-10, 2B, 3 RBI), senior left fielder Kapri Angotti (.333, 2-for-6 2 RBI), Brazil (3-for-10, 2 2B, RBI, BB) and sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (.300, 3-for-10).
Now with five conference series behind them, the `Dogs are still tied for the MW lead with Colorado State with their .667 winning percentages and 10-5 conference marks, followed by San Diego State (9-6, .643) and UNLV (11-7, .611).
Looking ahead, Fresno State returns home to host UNLV (21-25, 11-7) for 6 p.m. games on Friday and Saturday, and a 1 p.m. finale on Sunday.
The Rebels went 2-1 vs. returning MW champion San Diego State the past two days with their 9-8 loss and 12-9 and 2-1 wins.
"The last two days were a good rebound from last week," Ford said, "so we learned from some of our mistakes. Every conference series is important, so we're happy to come back and play at home in front of our fans this weekend. UNLV is swinging the bats well, so this weekend is pivotal."
Among the many promotions planned for this weekend at Bulldog Diamond, Facial Hair Friday means those with real or fake facial hair get free admission to the series opener. It's also Youth Jersey Friday, so all youth (12 and under) get into the game free with a softball or baseball jersey.
On Saturday, Bark in the Park is back, and fans can bring their dogs out to the outfield berm and enjoy the game (and dogs get in FREE!), while the Valley Animal Center will be in attendance with adoptable dogs.
As part of its season-long promotion, Salute to Sundays means all active military and veterans receive FREE admission to the finale with a valid military ID.
Fresno State 2, San Jose State 0 (Apr 23, 2014 at San Jose, Calif.)
Fresno State 001 001 0 - 2 6 1 (26-17, 10-5 MW) San Jose State 000 000 0 - 0 0 1 (25-20, 9-6 MW)
Pitchers: Fresno State - Compton, Jill and . San Jose State - FISH and . Win-COMPTON, Jill(17-7) Loss-FISH(8-4) T-1:30 A-104. Weather: Sunny, breezy, mid 60s.
"Catch the Wave!" - Fresno State softball's home game vs. Colorado State on Saturday, May 3 is now scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
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