It could've been quite the start for the Fresno State softball team in its second year under coach Trisha Ford.
The Bulldogs rocked defending Pac-12 champ and No. 8 Oregon for seven runs in the first two innings. But by the fourth, the lead was gone and Fresno State would succumb late, falling 10-9 in eight innings Friday in its season opener at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
The Bulldogs bounced back to beat North Carolina State 1-0 in their second game of the day behind Jim Compton's two-hitter. The Wolfpack are just outside the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25.
Stesha Brazil hit a three-run homer against Oregon to start Fresno State's early scoring barrage. After two innings, the Bulldogs led 7-2. But Oregon got back in it with a four-run third against Hannah Harris, though two were unearned.
The Ducks — 6-4 losers to Cal Poly in their opener earlier in the day — pulled ahead 8-7 with two in the fourth, but the Bulldogs did not go quietly. Fresno State tied it with one in their half of the fourth and after falling behind again, re-tied it 9-9 on Whitney Smith's RBI single in the seventh.
Oregon's Courtney Seo started the top of the eighth under the tie-breaker rule, stole third and scored on Alexa Peterson's sacrifice fly. Fresno State loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Paige Gumz struck out swinging to end the game.
Against the Wolfpack, Bulldogs newcomer Kierra Willis completed a trip around the bases on an error to score the lone run. With two out in the sixth, the freshman grounded back to pitcher Emily Weiman, who had trouble fielding the ball and then threw it into right field. Willis sped all the way around to score.
Compton hit the first batter she faced in the seventh but finished her shutout. The sophomore allowed singles in the third and fifth, striking out four with one walk.
Cal Poly's Chloe Wurst gave up eight runs as the Mustangs dropped their first game 8-4 to Seattle but then allowed four (two earned) on nine hits and saw sophomore Lauren Moreno hit two homers to match her freshman season total.