Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fresno State rallies past Iowa State in thriller

Fresno State opened play in its own tournament with a thrilling comeback win, and Boise State played the first game of a 3-game series against Arizona in the only contests involving Mountain West softball teams Thursday.

Fresno State 7, Iowa State 6 -- The host Bulldogs continued their late-game magic, coming from five runs down to knock off the Cyclones of the Big 12 Conference to open the Fresno State Classic.  Coach Trisha Ford's squad erased a 5-0 deficit and kept chipping away until they scored two in the bottom of the seventh for the win.  Pinch hitter Kelly Megee hit a deep single to center field with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh as Fresno State celebrated its third walk-off win of the young season.  Michelle Solomon had three hits and two RBI in the game, and no hit was more important than her leadoff single to begin the seventh with the Bulldogs down 6-5.  Following an out, Vonnie Martin and Kapri Angotti singled to load the bases.  Freshman Whitney Smith then culminated a strong at-bat with a walk to tie the game before Megee's heroics. For several innings, it looked like the Bulldogs might pay the price for coming out sloppy following a more than one hour rain delay.  The game was tied 0-0 with two outs in the top of the third inning when heavy rain began to fall.  Once play resumed more than an hour later, Fresno State immediately gave up five runs -- all with two outs in that third inning.  Starting pitcher Jill Compton walked two batters and hit another following the delay, and Fresno State committed its second infield error of the game and also gave up a bases-loaded triple.  The Bulldogs rallied in the bottom of the third with three 2-out runs to cut the deficit to 5-3.  Stesha Brazil had an RBI single, and Solomon and Paige Gumz each hit 2-out, RBI doubles in the frame. A solo home run put Iowa State back up by three runs before Fresno State again cut the margin to two in the fifth.  Brenna Moss' sacrifice fly brought the Bulldogs within a run in the sixth, but they left runners at first and third base to end the inning.  The Bulldogs stranded runners in every inning.  Freshman Taylor Langdon, the reigning MW Pitcher of the Week, came on to relieve Compton in the nearly 3 1/2-hour game (due to the lengthy rain delay) and tossed two scoreless innings of 2-hit ball.  Langdon improved to 6-1 on the season as Fresno State picked up its 14th win and banged out 12 hits in the game.  Iowa State fell to 9-7 on the year.

No. 16/20 Arizona 9, Boise State 5 -- Mackenzie Whyte connected with a monster 3-run home run, but the host Wildcats had a home run barrage of their own in a win over the Broncos in Tucson.  Whyte's blast was the longest in Arizona's park so far this season, and it put Boise State up early.  Lela Work came on in relief of starter Rebecca Patton in the third inning and gave up a pair of 2-run home runs that put the Wildcats up for good.  Work took the loss and pitched just that third inning.  Devon Bridges had three of Boise State's eight hits in the game.  Arizona finished with three round-trippers among its nine hits.  The teams will continue their 3-game series with a Saturday doubleheader.  Just hours prior to Thursday's opening game of the series, Arizona officially announced that ace senior pitcher Kenzie Fowler will redshirt and miss the entire 2013 season.  While Boise State fell to 9-11 overall, Arizona improved to 16-5.