Fresno State’s Linda Garza could have gone with the same pitching matchups that led to two big victories a day earlier.
But the first-year coach continues to experiment in nonconference play, so Saturday she opted to see what pitchers Kamalani Dung and Savannah McHellon could do against different competition.
So Garza sent Dung to the circle against Brigham Young and McHellon versus Oregon State on day 2 of the Fresno State Invitational.
Dung was two outs from victory when she gave up a tying run in the seventh, then lost it in the eighth as BYU rallied for an 8-6 extra-inning victory.
Fresno State, however, quickly rebounded with McHellon going the distance in a 6-2 win against the Beavers.
It was the first time this season that McHellon posted consecutive quality starts.
The junior, who previously played at Northwest Florida State College and Georgia, scattered five hits and two walks Saturday.
On Friday, McHellon threw seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 win against BYU.
For us to be able to do what we want to do in (Mountain West) play, we need Savannah as well as Kama to be in big situations and learn how to throw in them.
Fresno State coach Linda Garza
“For us to be able to do what we want to do in (Mountain West) play, we need Savannah as well as Kama to be in big situations and learn how to throw in them,” Garza said. “This is something that they should be: a 1-2 combo.
“I’m glad Savannah could put together a really good performance on back-to-back days against two really good teams.”
Bulldogs slugger Kierra Willis launched her third home run, a three-run shot in the fourth against Oregon State.
Fresno State played the nightcap without starting third baseman Schuylar Broussard, who sat out because of the school’s concussion protocol after an incident during the first game of the day.
Broussard left in the sixth against BYU after she was tagged hard on the face while trying to score from second base.
FRESNO STATE INVITATIONAL
- Sunday: Sacramento State vs. Oregon State, 9 a.m.; Fresno State vs. Sacramento State, 11:30 a.m. at Margie Wright Diamond
- Records: Bulldogs 16-9, Sacramento State 6-10-1, Oregon State 14-7
- Radio: KFIG (AM 790) for Fresno State game
- Of note: Former Fresno State star and Clovis High graduate Nichole Willis is in her fourth season as a Hornets assistant. A catcher under ex-Bulldogs coach Margie Wright, Willis started for four years and last played for Fresno State in 2007.