May 11, 2012 By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Fresno State softball team came back from a six-run deficit to defeat No. 12 Hawai'i 9-7 Friday night to remain alive and advance to the WAC Tournament championship game.
With their biggest comeback victory of the season, the Bulldogs (36-22) now play BYU in Saturday's championship game that begins at 1 p.m. PT. Fresno State will have to defeat the Cougars twice to win the championship, as BYU has won both of its games in the double elimination tournament.
"Wow, I am so proud of our team for just battling back. We got down 6-0 and they battled back right away and didn't stop," said head coach Margie Wright, who has now led her team to the WAC Tournament Championship game for the fourth-straight season. "I know we are all looking forward to tomorrow and I just can't say enough about our kids."
Fresno State trailed 6-0 after two and a half inning, but scored four in the bottom of the third and five in the fifth to pull ahead of the Rainbow Wahine (44-7) for good.
Mackenzie Oakes entered the game in relief of starter Michelle Moses to pick up the win for the Bulldogs. Oakes came in during the third inning and threw 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits and one run to earn her 11th victory of the season.
"For Michelle [Moses] and [Oakes] both, Michelle pitching all day and Mack coming in and saving the game, it was just an awesome day," Wright said. Michelle Moses pitched a complete game in Fresno State's 11-2 win over LA Tech before starting her second game of the day against Hawai'i.
Fresno State out-hit UH 10-7 and Moses led the way going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, her 18th home run of the season and she scored twice.
After scoreless innings in the first and second, Hawai'i blew the game open in the third with six runs. Sharla Kliebenstein and Kelly Majam both hit three-run homers in the inning and both came when there were two outs.
The Bulldogs countered in the bottom half of the third, scoring four runs on three hits and two walks. Courtney Moore drove in the final two runs of the frame with her double to the wall in right center.
Two innings later, Fresno State was able to erase that six-run deficit and took a 9-6 lead by scoring five runs in the fifth.
Moses tied the game with a two-run opposite-field homer off of Stephanie Ricketts, who entered the game in the third. Andrea Ortega and Kaitlin Griffin then put the `Dogs ahead with RBI singles and Maria Sio scored the fifth run of the rally on a wild pitch.
Hawai'i got one run in the sixth, but Oakes prevented the Rainbow Wahine from getting any more runs to finish off the comeback victory.
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