April 26, 2014
April 26, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. - Powered by its first back-to-back homers of the season, the Fresno State softball team (27-18, 11-6) split its series-opening doubleheader with UNLV (22-26, 12-8) Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond.
The MW-leading `Dogs claimed the finale, 6-3, while the Rebels won the series opener in eight innings, 1-0.
"I was happy with how our team rebounded from a disappointing loss in the opener," Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford said. "Jill (Compton) pitched really well the first game, and our defense also did a great job. In the second game, Michelle (Solomon) is getting her offensive groove back and really picked us up. Hannah (Harris) did her part and got a lot of ground ball outs and kept us in it."
- GAME 2 RECAP - In the finale, Fresno State jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, and a four-run fifth inning.
The Rebels battled back with three runs in the seventh inning, and even had the tying run at the plate. However, sophomore reliever Jill Compton picked up her first save of the season by forcing a ground out to third base to end the game.
At the plate, the `Dogs hit back-to-back on consecutive first pitches over the left field fence in the fifth inning, thanks to junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (1-for-2) and senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (2-for-3).
Solomon's three-run blast was her fifth round-tripper of the year, while Brazil's solo shot was her eighth. The latter shot also gave the Turlock, Calif., native 24 homers for the `Dogs in her three-year career - still sixth-most all-time for Fresno State (and not including the four she hit as a freshman at Houston).
In the fourth inning, Brazil also accounted for the team's first run after a lead-off triple - her third of the year - then scored on a two-out double down the right field line by sophomore catcher Paige Gumz (2-for-3).
Later in the sixth inning, Gumz also tripled to left field and scored on a sacrifice fly by junior center fielder Brenna Moss (1-for-3).
In the circle for the Bulldogs, sophomore Hannah Harris (8-8) worked the first 6.1 innings, struck out two, walked one, gave up 10 hits, and two of her three runs allowed were earned.
UNLV starter Morgan Ettinger (9-8) earned the complete game after she struck out one, walked three, gave up nine hits, and all six of her runs allowed were earned.
Offensively, the Rebels had four players with multiple hits - Garie Blando (3-for-4), Pauline Monreal (2-for-4), Tayler Van Acker (2-for-4) and Jamie DePippo (2-for-4).
- GAME 1 RECAP -
Compared to the combined 20-hit second game, the afternoon's first game featured only 10 hits and one run between the two teams.
That round-tripper ended a streak of 14 2/3 scoreless innings for Compton after the All-MW returnee no-hit San Jose State, 2-0, on Wednesday for her second no-hitter career-wise (and 71st in school history).
The `Dogs, however, had their scoring chances Saturday, and stranded two runners in the second, fifth and sixth innings - albeit after all six of those runners reached base with two outs.
Fresno State had another opportunity in the seventh inning when the lead-off batter, junior DP Kelly Megee (1-for-2), led off with a walk. However, the pinch runner was tagged out when she rounded second base on a sacrifice bunt, as was the batter on the double play in similar fashion at first base.
One of six Bulldogs that hit safely once, freshman left fielder Kierra Willis (1-for-2) also boosted Fresno State with a diving catch in the left field gap in the fifth inning. She then raced in almost 100 feet to make another impressive catch in foul territory on the next batter in front of the Bulldog dugout.
En route to her 25th complete game, Compton (17-8) struck out five, walked two, allowed four hits and one earned run.
Similarly, Rebel starter Amanda Oliveto (12-13) struck out five, walked one, and allowed six hits in her complete game shutout.
At the plate for the Rebels, Juarez (2-for-2) was the only player with multiple hits, and two others had single hits.
Looking ahead, the two teams return for the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"UNLV is a good team, so we will have to come back ready Sunday, and hopefully take advantage of some opportunities early," Ford said. "Every game is extremely important, especially when you get to play at home in front of such a great crowd."
Among the promotions planned, Salute to Sundays means all active military and veterans receive FREE admission to the finale with a valid military ID
With one game left in their sixth conference series of the season, the `Dogs are still tied for the MW lead with San Diego State with their 11-6 marks and .647 winning percentages, followed by Boise State (11-7, .611), UNLV (12-8, .600), Colorado State (10-7, .588) and San Jose State (9-8, .529).
Game 1 - UNLV 1, Fresno State 0 (Apr 26, 2014 at Fresno, Calif.)
UNLV 000 000 01 - 1 4 2 (22-25, 12-7 MW) Fresno State 000 000 00 - 0 6 0 (26-18, 10-6 MW)
Pitchers: UNLV - OLIVETO, Amanda and HASLINGER, Emily. Fresno State - Compton, Jill and Gumz, Paige. Win-OLIVETO, Amanda(12-13) Loss-COMPTON, Jill(17-8) T-1:42 A-1394. HR LV - JUAREZ, Samantha (7). Weather: 64, sunny, wind 1-4mph
Game 2 - Fresno State 6, UNLV 3 (Apr 26, 2014 at Fresno, Calif.)
UNLV 000 000 3 - 3 11 0 (22-26, 12-8 MW) Fresno State 000 141 X - 6 9 2 (27-18, 11-6 MW)
Pitchers: UNLV - ETTINGER, Morgan and HASLINGER, Emily. Fresno State - Harris, Hannah; COMPTON, Jill(7) and Gumz, Paige. Win-HARRIS, Hannah(8-8) Save-COMPTON, Jill(1) Loss-ETTINGER, Morgan(9-8) T-1:34 A-1394. HR FS - Solomon, Michelle (5); Brazil, Stesha (8). Weather: 66, sunny, wind 0-3mph.
"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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