May 8, 2004
FRESNO, Calif. - The 14th-ranked Fresno State softball team were three outs and a strike away from nailing down a Western Athletic Conference title but the Bulldogs' defense allowed four unearned runs in the top of the sixth with two outs and thus dropped a 4-2 decision to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Spoiling the final home stand as well as Senior Day for Lori Hoffman and Mitzi Ing, Tulsa did what it needed to do to put the pressure on the Bulldogs to win the WAC title outright on the road next week in Reno, Nev.
Fresno State had not dropped a doubleheader at Bulldog Diamond all season long as the 'Dogs wrapped up its 2004 home slate with a 24-6 home field mark.
Tulsa third baseman Lindsay Galloway put the nail in the coffin when she drove a 1-2 pitch over the center field fence for her third home run of the year. The Bulldogs' defense helped Galloway's cause as two fielding errors that would have been the first and third out of the inning allowed Galloway to become the hero.
Fresno State got off to a good start when it went up 2-0 after one full inning of play. However, the wheels fell off in the late innings as the 'Dogs suffered its third doubleheader loss of the season.
In the first, the Bulldogs got a run on a one-out fielder's choice by junior second baseman Leticia Pacheco as sophomore All-America shortstop Christina Clark scored after leading off the game with a base hit. Senior center fielder Mitzi Ing knocked in the second run on a two-out RBI single to right center as freshman catcher Nichole Willis scored after getting on with a base hit.
In the sixth, catcher Kelly Miller reached safely on a Bulldog fielding error by Clark. Right fielder Stephanie Sliepen flied out to shallow center field before center fielder Julie Shafer walked. Pitcher Ami Day then reached safely on a Bulldog fielding error by third baseman Veronica Green to load the bases. Galloway then drove a 1-2 pitch to dead center for a grand slam and a 4-2 lead.
Bulldog pitcher Laura Ferreira took the loss and dropped to 12-7 overall after giving up four runs (all unearned) on six hits while walking three and striking out one.
Day improved to 11-9 overall despite allowing two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one. Maren Genow came into the game in the seventh and recorded her sixth save after setting down the Bulldogs in order after Day allowed a base hit to junior first baseman Shasta Lewis.
Tulsa (43-17, 14-5 WAC), which has received votes during the season, remains in second place in the WAC standings and is 3.5 games back of the Bulldogs.
Fresno State (46-17, 19-3 WAC) will look to snap a two-game WAC losing streak when it closes out its regular-season and conference schedule next Sat., May 15, at Nevada.
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