Wolf Pack Nips `Dogs in Series Opener, 3-2
May 8, 2014
RENO, Nev. - The Fresno State softball team (30-20, 14-8) opened the final weekend of the regular season with a 3-2 loss at Nevada (26-24, 8-14) Thursday afternoon at Christina M. Hixson Softball Park.
The MW-leading `Dogs fell victim to a pair of first-pitch solo homers by Nevada's Megan Sweet in the second and fifth innings for its fourth one-run loss in conference play.
Keying the Fresno State offense, junior center fielder Brenna Moss (3-for-3) posted her team-best 22nd multi-hit game of the season to account for half of Fresno State's hits.
Fresno State got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Moss led off with a single, and later scored on an RBI single up the middle by senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (1-for-3).
After Sweet's first homer tied it 1-1, the Wolf Pack went ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning via its only other hits in the game.
Amanda Weis, Caylin Campbell and Sara Parsons all singled in the stanza, and yet Moss nearly negated the run with a would-be 15th assist of the year. However, Weis ended up safe at home as the ball slipped out of the catcher's glove on the hurried swipe tag.
Moss came back to tie the game, 2-2, in the fifth inning with an RBI double to left center field. Her drive into the 15mph wind drifted away from the center fielder, and knocked in sophomore catcher Paige Gumz who had stroked a one-out single to right field.
Unfortunately, Sweet's second round-tripper in the bottom half of the inning decided the game, and gave Nevada its fourth straight conference victory.
On the basepaths, Moss added her 30th base of the season in the third inning after a single to center field. The All-MW returnee is now only four swipes shy of her school record last year (34), while her 75 career-wise is only 11 from the school record (Haley Gilleland, 86).
Fresno State's other hit came from senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz (1-for-3) who beat out a grounder to shortstop with two outs in the fifth inning.
In the circle for the Bulldogs, sophomore starter Jill Compton (19-9) struck out six, walked three, gave up five hits, and all three of her runs allowed were earned in her 19th complete game of the year.
For Nevada, this week's MW Pitcher of the Week, Karlyn Jones (9-9), notched her 11th complete game of the season. The right-hander struck out nine, walked none, scattered six hits, and both of her runs allowed were earned.
Although the `Dogs dropped a conference series opener for the fourth time this year, they are still tied for the conference top spot after Boise State lost at San Diego State, 4-0, later Thursday afternoon.
All three teams now sport 14-8 league marks with two games left to play in the season.
In other action around the league, UNLV beat Utah State (6-1) and is one game shy of a four-way tie for the conference lead.
Entering the day, the MW's other fourth-place team - Colorado State - had its game postponed due to San Jose State because of poor weather in Fort Collins, and the game will now be a doubleheader on Friday.
Updated conference standings are available at the www.TheMWC.com web site.
Looking ahead, Fresno State and Nevada return for the second game of the series on Friday at 4 p.m., while the finale is set for noon on Saturday.
Nevada 3, Fresno State 2 (May 08, 2014 at Reno, Nev.)
Fresno State 100 010 0 - 2 6 0 (30-20, 14-8) Nevada 100 110 X - 3 5 0 (26-24, 8-14)
Pitchers: Fresno State - Compton, Jill and Gumz, Paige. Nevada - JONES, K and BUTERA, A. Win-JONES, K(9-9) Loss-COMPTON, Jill(19-9) T-1:30 A-91 HR NV - SWEET, M 2 (8). Weather: Cool and overcast, Wind 7-15 mph (to left field).