The Fresno State softball team opened Mountain West Conference play at home, facing the San Jose State University Spartans in a three-game series from March 22-24 at Margie Wright Diamond.
The Bulldogs came back after being down two runs early in the game and took the victory from the Spartans by a score of 4-3.
Fresno State came into the last game of the series on Sunday with hopes of avoiding a sweep by the Spartans after losing the first two games of the series 3-2 and 2-1, respectively.
In the first inning, the Bulldogs started with Danielle East in the pitching circle, who had pitched two innings in the second game of the series.
The ‘Dogs faced trouble early when East allowed a double to center field which in turn brought in a run for the Spartans.
East, however, fought hard to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs scored.
Being one run down, the Bulldogs were eager to get their offense going early in the game but could not find any luck in the batter’s box.
In the second inning, East didn’t allow a single run to be scored. However, the struggles on offense continued for the Bulldogs who couldn’t get any momentum going.
In the third inning, East got in trouble again after allowing several walks, which the Spartans turned into a run. That was the only East allowed in the inning, but it gave a two-run lead to San Jose State.
For the bottom of the third inning, Fresno State finally found some momentum on offense, quickly putting two runners on base. The Bulldogs took advantage of a throwing error by the Spartans which allowed Kaitlyn Jennings to score the first run for the ‘Dogs.
The Bulldogs added three more runs in the inning, one after Rachel Minogue singled to center, bringing home McKenzie Wilson. Jade Nua then doubled down left field line, bringing in Aaliyah Cuevas and Miranda Rohleder.
“Today we all stepped up and decided that we weren’t losing. Today we were going to win. We were going to battle and we were going to fight back,” Rohleder said.
After a very successful bottom of the third for the Bulldogs, the coaching staff decided to change the pitcher, sitting East to bring in Danielle Lung.
Lung kept the game scoreless for the Bulldogs, pitching innings four through six innings without allowing a run to keep the ‘Dogs ahead 4-2.
San Jose State also to kept the Bulldogs from getting anything going offensively for the remainder of the game.
The Bulldogs changed pitchers in the sixth inning after Lung got into some trouble with runners on first and third base. Lung was replaced by East who came back in to close out the inning. East allowed one run by the Spartans but eventually escaped the inning.
For the top of the seventh inning, the Bulldogs changed pitchers once again, this time bringing Hailey Dolcini in for East to close out the game.
Dolcini made easy work of the Spartan batters, quickly getting three outs to giving the Bulldogs their first win in conference play and preventing the Spartans from sweeping the three-game series.
After the game, coach Linda Garza said that she tips her hat to San Jose State.
“I’m glad we were able to pull out a win at the end, but I’m disappointed. I definitely believe that we’re a better team than how we have been playing these last couple games, and we haven’t been able to get on a roll,” Garza said. “We needed to get the monkey off our backs and get in the win column in conference and use that momentum to move on to the next one.”