Fresno State softball: Bulldogs can't seal deal vs. No. 3 Tennessee

The Fresno BeeFebruary 23, 2014 

The Fresno State softball team once again had a nationally ranked team on the brink of defeat.

But once again, the Bulldogs fell apart in the clutch.

Despite building a three-run lead on No. 3 Tennessee on the final day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Fresno State lost 5-4 Sunday in Cathedral City after giving up four unanswered runs.

Among them was Tennessee's winner in the bottom of the seventh on an error by third baseman Vonnie Martin, though the Bulldogs already had loaded the bases with Volunteers without getting an out.

Fresno State (10-5) did beat LIU Brooklyn 6-2 earlier Sunday and finished the tournament 2-3.

Fresno State had started the season against then-No. 8 Oregon and blew a five-run lead in a 10-9 loss.

Kiley Shae Aldridge took the loss then, as she did Sunday when she allowed one run off three hits and two walks.

The Bulldogs also didn't help their cause offensively after a building a 4-1 lead on Tennessee's lesser pitchers then held scoreless through the final four innings -- the last three innings facing two-time All-American Ellen Renfroe. Even against Renfroe, the Bulldogs threatened to score. But Fresno State twice had runners thrown out at home during the fifth inning.

Sunday was the first time this season that Tennessee (13-0) trailed after three innings. It was also the just the third time the Volunteers won by just one run.

Martin finished 2 for 4 with a solo home run and two RBIs, and leadoff hitter Brenna Moss batted 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI as well as one steal.

Against LIU Brooklyn, Fresno State's Stesha Brazil hit a three-run homer in the fourth, which marked her fourth homer of the season and 20th of her career. Jill Compton got the win despite struggles with her control as the sophomore walked five and logged a wild pitch. But she also had five strikeouts and didn't allow an earned run.

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