Fresno State sophomore outfielder Kierra Willis connects on pitch during Sunday’s 12-0 shutout win over Nevada at Margie Wright Diamond. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)
On Senior Day, in the last home game of the season, junior right-hander Jill Compton continued to elevate her game, and the Fresno State softball team continued its recent run of success.
Behind a one-hit shutout from Compton, the Bulldogs cruised to a 12-0 win against the Nevada Wolf Pack, completing a second consecutive sweep at home and extending their win streak to seven.
For Compton, it was her second shutout of the weekend.
The junior recorded seven strikeouts Sunday after recording 11 strikeouts in Friday’s shutout.
“Coach Ford has been helping me with my mechanics, but I try not to think about it too much when I’m on the mound,” Compton said. “I’m just believing in each pitch, and it has worked.”
Compton’s leadership on and off the mound has rubbed off on her teammates.
“The energy she brings to the field and to each one of us is what makes the game awesome,” senior infielder Taylor Green said. “Off the field, she is the same as she is on the field, just a dork and always energetic, always into it 100 percent and just an awesome person.”
For Green, Sunday’s game had an added meaning.
The senior cherished her last game at Margie Wright Diamond and also shared a special moment with her dad.
“My dad has a disease called ALS,” Green said. “He has had it for about 10 years now, so I wasn’t sure that he was going to see this day. It was awesome to share that moment today and winning was icing on the cake.
“He comes to every single game at home, and sometimes on the road, and it was awesome for him to be a part of. I have always dreamed of this day, and I was excited for it to happen, and him to be able to share it with me.”
Before taking the field on Senior Day, the ‘Dogs expected an emotional afternoon, but they also emphasized the importance of winning the game.
“It wasn’t hard to start this game because we got our mind right,” senior centerfielder Brenna Moss said. “We were like, ‘This is gonna be an emotional day.’ We have to keep our minds right. We can’t lose this game. Coach was telling us win the game and you can be emotional afterwards.”
After defeating the Wolf Pack 6-0 Friday, then 5-3 Saturday, the ‘Dogs remained scoreless in Sunday’s game until the bottom of the third, when sophomore Kierra Willis smashed a line drive to left field to score senior outfielder Michelle Solomon, who gave the ‘Dogs a 1-0 lead.
The Wolf Pack continued to unravel in the third as the ‘Dogs loaded the bases and scored one run off a walk, then two more runs on an errant throw to first base.
With a total of nine runs on four hits in the inning, the ‘Dogs took a 9-0 lead going into the fourth.
Moss added to the lead with an RBI single in the fourth, while sophomore infielder Malia Rivers followed up with her third RBI of the game.
Fresno State senior Kiley Shae Aldridge took the mound in the fifth inning and struck out the last batter to seal the win.
With the win, the ‘Dogs improved their overall record to 36-14 and their conference mark to 17-4, extending their lead in the Mountain West Conference.
“I’m very proud of our team effort,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “Jill set the standard on the mound and gave us some good energy. Offensively we came out today with great focus and great purpose. It was nice to finish our home slate with this kind of win.”