May 9, 2014
RENO, Nev. - The Fresno State softball team (30-21, 14-9) suffered one of its most frustrating outcomes of the season with a 5-1 loss at Nevada (27-24, 9-14) Friday afternoon at Christina M. Hixson Softball Park.
The Bulldog offense combined for 12 hits but unfortunately stranded 15 base runners - one shy of its season high - to fall for the second straight day to the Wolf Pack
In contrast, Nevada scored five runs on only five hits, and scored all their runs via homers that were carried over the fence by the constant 10-15 mph wind.
Four runs came on a two-out grand slam by Amanda Weis in the third inning - her team-leading 12th of the season. However, that at-bat almost never came to be.
After Danielle Wiltz and Erin Jones had singled, the next batter, clean-up hitter Nikki Orozco, nearly struck out on a 1-2 outside pitch with two outs. However, the third base umpire ruled that she hadn't quite finished her swing, and two pitches later she walked to load the bases and set the stage for Weis.
Nevada added a final run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo homer by Erin Jones that barely cleared the left center field wall for her second round-tripper of the season.
For the second straight day, the `Dogs scored a run in the first inning after a lead-off single by junior center fielder Brenna Moss. The All-MW returnee later scored from second base on a double by senior first baseman Stesha Brazil off the top of the left field wall - her fifth two-bagger of the year.
After stranding two runners in the first inning, Fresno State then stranded three runners in the second, third and fifth innings, along with at least runner in the remaining stanzas (and nine being in scoring position).
Overall for the game, senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (3-for-3) connected on a season-high in hits, including a seventh-inning double (and her fourth of the campaign).
Moss (2-for-5) and Brazil (2-for-4, RBI) posted their team-leading 23rd and 12th multi-hit games of the season, while sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (2-for-3) added her 10th.
Helping Fresno State to its 13th double-digit hit tally this year, three other `Dogs hit safely once - senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz (1-for-4), junior DP Taylor Green (1-for-2) and senior left fielder Kapri Angotti (1-for-4).
Defensively, the `Dogs made several nice plays, including a pair of running catches in left field by Angotti against trying wind conditions in the first and third innings; a shoestring grab by junior right fielder Michelle Solomon to end the first inning; and a quick read and throw by catcher Paige Gumz on a bunt in front of the plate in the fifth inning by the speedy opposing lead-off hitter.
In the circle for the Bulldogs, sophomore starter Hannah Harris (9-10) pitched the first three innings, struck out one, walked three, and allowed three hits and four earned runs.
Sophomore Taylor Langdon finished her team-leading 11th game of the season, allowed two hits and one earned run, and logged no walks or strikeouts.
For Nevada, McKenna Isenberg (9-5) pitched her fifth complete game, allowed seven hits, struck out two, walked two, and allowed one earned run.
Overall at the plate for the Wolf Pack, Jones (2-for-3) was the lone Nevada player with multiple hits.
In other action around the league Friday, San Diego State beat Boise State, 1-0, in eight innings, and UNLV topped Utah State, 2-1.
The Aztecs now lead the MW by one game with a 15-8 mark, while there's a three-way tie for second place between Boise State, Fresno State and UNLV with their 14-9 records.
In another MW contest Friday, CSU beat San Jose State, 7-4, and if the Rams win both games of Saturday's 9 a.m. doubleheader, could potentially still tie for the MW lead if SDSU loses.
Looking ahead to Saturday, Fresno State and Nevada return for the final game of the series at noon, while the Boise State-SDSU and UNLV at Utah State games are both set for a 1 p.m. start.
If San Diego State loses its season finale Saturday, the tiebreaker to determine the NCAA automatic bid between two teams tied for the conference top spot is first decided by head-to-head competition. If the tie isn't broken, then head-to-head records vs. the next best team(s) in the conference are considered. If a tie still isn't broken via the second method, then a team's season RPI will be used to determine the winner.
If there are more than two teams tied for the lead, the previous tie-breaking procedures shall be used (in order) until the tie is reduced to a two-team tie. The process then reverts to the beginning of the tie-breaking procedures, and shall be applied (in order) until the two-team tie is broken.
Complete MW standings and more conference information is available at the www.TheMWC.com web site.
Nevada 5, Fresno State 1 (May 09, 2014 at Reno, Nev.)
Fresno State 100 000 0 - 1 12 0 (30-21, 14-9) Nevada 004 010 X - 5 5 0 (27-24, 9-14)
Pitchers: Fresno State - Harris, Hannah; LANGDON, Taylor(4) and Gumz, Paige. Nevada - ISENBERG, M and BUTERA, A. Win-ISENBERG, M(9-5) Loss-HARRIS, Hannah(9-10) T-1:50 A-207. HR NV - JONES, E (2); WEIS, A (12). Weather: Sunny, 62, wind 10-15mph towards LF.
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