Fresno, Calif. – The San José State softball team had runners on base in six of the seven innings, but could only score twice in an 8-2 loss to the Fresno State Bulldogs on Friday night.
Fresno State (26-18, 6-6 MW) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second. Kierra Willis lead off with a fly ball to right center. Casey Watt raced into the gap and got a glove on the ball, but couldn’t bring it in. By the time the dust had cleared Willis was on third. Two batters later, Savannah McHellon drove a ball back up the middle to plate the first run of the game. The next batter, Lindsey Willmon deposited Spartans’ starter Katelyn Linford’s 2-2 offering over the fence in left for a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third, the Spartans got one back. With one out, Kamalani Dung (17-11) hit Emma Emtzminger with a pitch. It was the 13th time this season the Victoria, British Columbia, native has taken one for the team and represents the second most by a Spartan in a season. Two batters later, Cassidy Clark (1-for-3, RBI) drove Entzminger in on a double to the right center gap cutting the Bulldogs lead to 3-1.
In the fifth, San José State (27-15, 7-6 MW) had runners on second and third with two outs. Georgia Blair hammered a shot to straightaway center. It looked like the Spartans were going to tie the game, but the Fresno State centerfielder, who turned two different ways while chasing the fly, reached out at the last second and snagged it to keep the score 3-1.
In the Spartans sixth, Madison Aurin (1-for-2, R) doubled to the gap in left center to leadoff. Chelsea Jenner (1-for-3, RBI) followed Aurin with a double of her own. It was down the left field line and scored Aurin to get SJSU to within one at 3-2. With Jenner at second representing the tying run, San José State had three chances to drive her in, but failed to get the ball out of the infield. The teams went to the bottom of the inning with Fresno State up 3-2.
In the Bulldogs sixth, the wheels came off for the Spartans.
Fresno State opened the frame with hits from three of its first four batters, which plated two runs. The third hit, which was an RBI double to make it 5-2, spelled the end of the game for Linford (17-7).
Colette Riggs came in and issued walks to the first two batters she faced which loaded the bases. She picked up a strikeout and then induced a fly ball to right, which should have ended the inning. But Casey Watt inexplicably dropped the ball allowing three unearned runs to score.
Trailing by six runs in the top of the seventh, Clark reach on an error. But she would end up being the eighth runner left on by SJSU in the 8-2 loss.
The teams play game two of the three game series on Saturday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.