For first-year Fresno State coach Linda Garza, it’s the small victories within a game that she values almost as much as the final result.
As long as her team learns.
Garza had to settle for that Friday after No. 12 Minnesota roughed up Fresno State 9-2 on the second day of the Bulldog Classic at Margie Wright Diamond.
The Bulldogs served up a pair of three-run homers and nearly were mercy-ruled by one of the nation’s best hitting teams as Minnesota (11-0) stayed undefeated.
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But as Garza pointed out, Fresno State also scored off All-American Sara Groenewegen. And that was a win in itself, the coach said.
We got to learn from this.
Fresno State coach Linda Garza
“When you face a two-time All-America pitcher,who gives up 0.72 runs per game, and you get 1 earned run on her, you’re meeting the minimum – you’re meeting above the minimum,” Garza said. “The game within the game, I thought we actually did a good job.
“We got to learn from this. How do we take something that didn’t fall our way and find a way to learn from it so that we can be better prepared for conference.”
What the Bulldogs lacked in pitching – giving up 12 hits and walking five – Fresno State tried to make up for with fight.
Minnesota was on the brink of an eight-run, mercy rule ending after Sydney Dwyer crushed a three-run shot off Bulldogs reliever Samantha Mejia to make it 9-1 going to the bottom of the sixth.
But the Bulldogs scraped out a run on Morgan Howe’s RBI triple off reliever Amber Fiser to force a full seven innings.
Malia Rivers hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth off Groenewegen.
Fresno State starter Savannah McHellon allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk in 3.1 innings. She surrendered a three-run homer to Dani Wagner in the fourth and was removed two batters later.
Fresno State moved to 0-2 against ranked opponents this season, with a loss to No. 12 Minnesota and No. 9 Oregon.
The Bulldogs (7-5) dropped to 0-2 against ranked teams this season, having lost to then-No. 9 Oregon (now No. 5) during the first week of the season.
“The final score is what it is,” Garza said. “We’ve got to find a way to bank it.”
- Saturday at Margie Wright Diamond: Fresno State vs. UC Davis at 5:30 p.m.; Fresno State vs. Idaho State at 8 p.m.
- Records: Bulldogs 7-5, UC Davis 5-5, Idaho State 2-4
- Radio: KFPT (AM 790)
- Of note: UC Davis sophomore infielder Alex Sotomayor prepped at Chavez High-Delano. Aggies junior outfielder Megan Salazar is a Buchanan grad. Though a starter last season, Salazar has not played this season. Idaho State freshman infielder Genesis Zamora is from Sanger and went to Immanuel High. She is nursing an injury and likely will not play.