Friday, March 3, 2017

Bulldogs go 2-0, Aztecs 0-2 in Thursday tournament openers

Fresno State and San Diego State opened weekend tournament play a day ahead of everyone else in the Mountain West, with both teams playing twice Thursday.

For the Bulldogs, it was the prestigious Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, and for the Aztecs, it was their annual San Diego Classic.

Fresno State (12-6) swept a pair of games, beating 2016 NCAA Tournament team Long Beach State 4-2 in eight innings, and the Big Ten's Iowa Hawkeyes by an 11-7 score.  Against the 49ers, Fresno State pitcher Kamalani Dung was sensational, tossing a complete-game 3-hitter.  It was the fifth time already this season she's allowed three or fewer hits in a game.  Dung struck out a season-high 10 and did not allow an earned run.

Against Iowa, freshman pitcher Samantha Mejia started for Fresno State and picked up the win, going 6 1/3 innings.  Dung came on to face one batter, earning the save by inducing a game-ending double play.  Mejia improved to 3-0, while Dung lowered her ERA to 1.46.  Dung (8-3) paces the Mountain West, with eight wins this season.  Morgan Howe went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI for Fresno State against the Hawkeyes.

The victory over Iowa was Fresno State's third over a team from the Big Ten in three-plus weeks.

For San Diego State, it was a different story.  The Aztecs suffered a pair of losses, falling 7-6 to McNeese State, before losing 5-1 to BYU later in the day.  Cougars pitcher McKenna Bull handcuffed the Aztecs with a 4-hitter, while SDSU left the potential game-tying and winning runs in scoring position in the seventh during the loss to the Cowgirls.