Fresno State junior infielder Whitney Smith (left) arrives to home plate safe during Tuesday’s 7-1 win over New Mexico. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)
Bracing intermittent rain and chilly conditions, the Fresno State softball team used a mix of clutch defense and key hitting to beat the New Mexico Lobos 7-1 at Margie Wright Diamond on Tuesday night.
The game – originally one of a doubleheader – turned out to be the only match of the day. The contest’s late start forced the ‘Dogs to move Game 2 to today (11 a.m.).
“Our warmup today was good,” said Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford. “When we took batting practice before the game, they had good energy. I would say that they were anxious and antsy to get going with the game.”
Fresno State right fielder Michelle Solomon led her team with three RBIs. Two came from a long double that bounced off the center-field fence in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Malia Rivers and Brenna Moss.
“I thought that it was going to be an easy out,” Solomon said. “I totally thought that wasn’t even a good hit at all. So once I got to first base and saw that [New Mexico center fielder Mariah Rimmer] was on the fence, I was like, ‘Oh, I better start running faster.’
“I had a good pregame today, so I was feeling good all day. You can’t really let [the long pregame] get to you. It was all part of the plan. Our goal today was to move the runners any way we could, and that’s what I really took to heart.”
Bulldogs pitcher Jill Compton pitched a complete game and allowed only one earned run. She struck out seven Lobos, but walked six in 111 pitches thrown.
“We came out strong on offense, and that really kept me going and kept me more focused,” Compton said. “I didn’t pitch that well – I had too many walks – but I’m looking forward to [today] and getting to it.”
Going into today’s matchups, Ford is looking for improved performance in the circle. Compton and Hannah Harris are slated to start the two games.
“I will go back, watch film, watch their swing path and go from there,” Ford said.