Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Langdon pitches road shutout as Fresno State wins 13th in a row


Senior pitcher Taylor Langdon, who entered the day with one win and 11 innings pitched all season, picked a great time to come up with one of the best performances of her Fresno State career.

The right-hander tossed her first ever complete-game shutout, scattering five singles, as No. 20 Fresno State remained red-hot with a 4-0 road win in Stockton against Pacific.  Langdon had a career-high six strikeouts and outdueled Tigers pitcher Cassidy Gustafson, who earlier this season pitched a complete-game win over then No. 3-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge.

Langdon lowered her season ERA nearly four full points -- to 6.49 -- with her second win of the year against only one defeat.  Pacific threatened on a couple of occasions, but Langdon was at her best when it counted most, holding the Tigers to an 0-for-9 evening with runners in scoring position.  She finished with six strikeouts, and struck out the final batters of the first, second and fifth innings.

Freshman phenom Dominique Jackson hit her team-leading 10th home run of the season on the first pitch of the fifth inning off Gustafson.  It would strike the light pole in right-center as the power-hitting slugger from Chico took the Mountain West lead among freshmen in home runs.  Fresno State would score three more times in the fifth to give Langdon all the support she would need.

Freshman Vanessa Hernandez (who had two hits in the game) singled following Jackson's home run, and the Bulldogs loaded the bases with consecutive walks by Whitney Smith and Bria Kennedy.  Malia Rivers grounded out to make it a 2-0 game, and then, with two outs, Alyssa Villalpando delivered what would be the knockout blow.

The Mountain West leader in RBIs, Villalpando would add Nos. 43 and 44 with a 2-run single to right and it was a 4-run lead for the Bulldogs, who hit .400 (4-for-10) with two outs in the game.  Kierra Willis finished with three hits as Fresno State ran its season-high winning streak to 13 games in a row.  It was the Bulldogs' sixth shutout of the season as they improved to 31-9-1 overall.  Pacific dropped to 19-19 overall.

Weber State 3, Utah State 2 - In a continuation of last weekend, the Aggies found another tough way to lose in the final inning.  The Aggies committed an error in the top of the seventh, and a 2-run triple followed, sending the Wildcats to the win.  Utah State would try to rally in the bottom of the seventh, putting the potential winning run aboard, but falling short.  Noelle Johnson took the loss.  Weber State improved to 28-14, while the Aggies fell to 19-20.