Fresno State split its final day of the Bulldog Classic at Margie Wright Diamond, falling 2-0 to Cal Poly before closing out with a 7-3 win against UC Davis on Sunday.
It was a weekend filled with lessons for the Bulldogs, who finished 4-2 in their home tournament to improve to 10-6 overall.
“It’s not going to come easy every game, and that’s what we’re trying to teach,” said first-year coach Linda Garza. “We’ve got to create our own identity now of that 2017 team of who we’re going to be and how we’re going to scrap and win.”
The Bulldogs had to learn that the hard way in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader that proved to be another pitching duel against the Mustangs.
Cal Poly starter Lindsey Chalmers and Fresno State’s Kamalani Dung went pitch for pitch, keeping zeros on the scoreboard through six innings.
The Mustangs prevailed, however, taking the win on back-to-back homers from Megan Nordin and Crimson Kaiser in the seventh.
The Bulldogs turned it around in the second game of the afternoon against UC Davis, capitalizing on a series of mistakes while maintaining composure in the circle.
Freshman pitcher Samantha Mejia gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits in her first career start. She struck out three batters and walked one.
Savannah McHellon smashed a line-drive home run in the second inning to put the Bulldogs in front 1-0.
Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth with two outs, the Bulldogs rallied to score four runs. They loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit-by-pitch, and then the Aggies gave the Bulldogs a two-run lead on a fielding error and wild pitch. Vanessa Hernandez capped the rally with a two-run triple down the right-field line.
“I think right now we’re gaining that trust,” Garza said. “We kicked the ball obviously a lot in terms of (Saturday) and (Sunday) a little bit. The huge part is we found a way to come out 4-2, and we found a place where we can count on another pitcher and get somebody with not a lot experience, experience.”
Saturday recap – Dung flirted with perfection in Saturday’s first game against UC Davis. Dung was seven outs from a perfect game when the Aggies bunted for single with two outs in the fifth. But Dung completed the shutout as Fresno State downed the Aggies 3-0.
In the second game, the Bulldogs came out on top in a contest marred by errors, winning 11-6 over Idaho State. Freshman Maddi Hackbarth hit a grand slam and Morgan Howe went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs.
JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC
- Where: Anderson Family Field in Fullerton
- Schedule: Thursday - Fresno State vs. Long Beach State, 12:30 p.m.; Fresno State vs. Iowa, 4 p.m. Friday – Fresno State vs. Indiana, 8 p.m. Saturday - Fresno State vs. Northwestern, 9:30 a.m.; Fresno State vs. Washington, 12:30 p.m.