Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One step forward, one step back for Bulldogs

Fresno State's up and down season continued Wednesday in Moraga in a non-conference doubleheader split at St. Mary's.

The Bulldogs lost their third straight extra-inning contest in game one, before taking advantage of six Gaels errors to win the nightcap.  In the opener, Fresno State's Jill Compton struggled early, giving up a 2-run homer in the first inning that set the tone of an eventual 4-3 loss in nine innings.  After St. Mary's took a 3-0 lead in the third, Hannah Harris took over and went the rest of the way.

Vonnie Martin hit a 2-run home run to trim the deficit to 3-2, and Brooke Ortiz delivered a clutch RBI single with two outs in the seventh to tie the game.  A solo homer in the ninth won it for St. Mary's, as Fresno State fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games since March 21.  Four of the Bulldogs' last five losses have also now come in extra frames.

Fresno State left runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings in the 1-run, opening-game loss.  It was a bit of deja vu from previous extra-inning struggles when the Bulldogs stranded numerous runners in scoring position.  In the nightcap, the Gaels committed a whopping six  errors -- the most a Bulldog opponent has had in a game this season. 

And Fresno State needed every one of those errors, because the Bulldogs' offense again couldn't get untracked and all four of their runs were unearned.  The game's lone earned run belonged to St. Mary's on a solo homer.

Fresno State took a 1-0 lead in the third when the Gaels committed four errors.  Whitney Smith went 3-for-3 in the nightcap and finished with five hits on the day.  Martin had three hits, two RBI, and two runs scored on the afternoon.  Brenna Moss snapped an 0-for-11 funk with a 2-run double in game two.

Fresno State, now 17-3 all-time versus St. Mary's, lost in consecutive seasons to coach Trisha Ford's alma mater for the first time ever.