A nonconference interlude turned out to be anything but a spring break for a struggling Fresno State softball team.
The Bulldogs suffered a 2-1 walk-off defeat Saturday afternoon at Cal, one day after another walk-off that secured a mercy-rule victory for the Golden Bears.
Cal (25-13), ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll, rallied for two in the seventh, scoring on a bases-loaded walk ahead of Kylie Reed’s game-winning single up the middle.
Lindsey Willmon gave Fresno State a 1-0 lead with her RBI single in the second. Kamalani Dung (16-10) was the tough-luck loser while pitching a four-hitter. She did walk six, including three in the seventh.
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It’s the sixth loss in the past seven games for the Bulldogs (25-17), who have one more nonconference game Wednesday at Santa Barbara before returning to Mountain West play Friday at home versus San Jose State.
Cal swept Fresno in a multigame series for the first time since 2005 when the Bears posted 3-1 and 5-0 wins.
Friday, Cal 8, Bulldogs 0 – Bears redshirt sophomore right-hander Zoe Conley pitched two-hit ball in a game shortened to five innings. Three unearned runs in the second, set up by shortstop Katie Castellon’s error, gave Cal a 5-0 lead.
Thursday, Bulldogs 2, Santa Clara 0 – Kierra Willis hit a one-out RBI single in the fifth, another run came home on the same play via an error and Dung made it stand up with seven innings of one-hit shutout softball. She walked four but struck out seven. Fresno State snapped a four-game losing streak, while Santa Clara fell to 10-26.
Fresno State’s men tied Oregon State but were awarded second via a tiebreaker at the El Macero Classic, shooting rounds of 302-301-292 for a 31-over 895 at the 7,097-yard, par-72 El Macero Country Club. Seattle (295-312-287) rallied to take the team title by a stroke.
The Bulldogs’ Alex Lee (72-73-72-217) finished second, two shots back of UC Davis’ Ben Corfee for the individual championship. Trevor Clayton (75-77-68-220 ) climbed 11 spots on the final day to finish fifth.
“Really great week for the guys,” coach Chad Spencer said. “You know you’re playing well as a team when you have a chance to win and what a time to do it. … I really like the way we are playing heading into the (Mountain West Conference) championships. Alex and Trevor played well on a tough course and it’s always good to see your best players hitting on all cylinders this time of year.”
Bulldogs senior Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir posted her ninth career top-10 finish, placing seventh (74-75-72, 11-over 221) at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Tulsa, Okla. Tulsa won the team title at 41-over 881, while Fresno State (306-293-301-900) was fourth.
“Certainly a challenging week with the high winds, but it was great training for us,” coach Emily Loftin said. “It’s helped us build our confidence in how to play in those type of conditions and we’re definitely going to take advantage of that as we expect to have similar conditions next week” at the conference tournament in Rancho Mirage.
Fresno State’s run at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championship ended with a 12-3 loss to second-seeded Georgia in Waco, Texas.
Alexandra Dirickson (equitation over fences), Taylor Dixon (reining), Taeya Harle (horsemanship) earned points for the Bulldogs (9-8), who beat 10th-seeded New Mexico 10-5 in the opening round.
Georgia Lawson and Emma Wilson won at No. 1 doubles and also picked up singles victories as the Fresno State women’s team won 6-1 at San Diego State in a Mountain West match.
The Bulldogs take a 12-7 overall record and 2-0 conference mark into Sunday’s 10 a.m. match at UNLV. The Aztecs are 5-16 and 0-3.
Fresno State’s men’s team, set to return to its Mountain West schedule Saturday night versus Boise State,.beat Holy Names 5-1 on Friday. The match was clinched when No. 2 singles player Zdenek Derkas won 6-0, 6-2.
Track and Field
Annemarie Schwanz broke a 25-year-old school record in the 800 run, finishing in 2:04.65 at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa She was first among all collegians and second overall in the 145-athlete field.
Kayla Hopkins won the discus for the fifth meet in a row, with a throw of 167 feet, 5 inches and Yazmin Torres was second (166-9).
Vanja Spaic moved up to ninth in Fresno State history in the javelin with a mark of 160-4. Second in a field of 35, she landed her best throw of the day on her final attempt of the competition.
Fresno Pacific also took part, with Donte McDaniels setting a school record in the long jump, leaping 25-3 to win the event. The mark is the longest in NCAA Division II this season and qualifies McDaniels for the NCAA Championships. Courtney Moore won the women’s 1500, lowered her school record to 4:25.47.
Fresno State will host the Bulldog Invitational, the first of back-to-back home meets, April 22 at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Fresno State freshman Tiffiny Wallace established a program single-season goals record (40) while picking up her third consecutive hat trick but the Bulldogs lost to Stanford 17-4 in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match. The Cardinal are 8-4 and 3-1. Fresno State (8-6, 1-5) played at Saint Mary’s (1-10, 0-5) on Saturday night.
▪ The second anual Lacrosse Legacy Awards Dinner is May 10 at Sunnyside Country Club, beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction. RSVP to Judy Lea at 559-278-4112 or email@example.com.
Next week in Bulldogs sports
- Women’s golf: at Mountain West Championships, Monday-Wednesday, Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage
- Softball: at U.C. Santa Barbara, 3 p.m. Wednesday; vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon Sunday at Margie Wright Diamond
- Men’s golf: at Mountain West Championships, Friday-Sunday, Omni Tucson National
- Lacrosse: vs Cal, 6 p.m. Friday at Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium
- Men’s tennis: vs. Nevada 11 a.m., vs. UC Santa Cruz 1 p.m., both Saturday at Wathen Center
- Women’s tennis: vs. Nevada, 1 p.m. Saturday at Wathen Center
- Track and field: Bulldog Invitational at Veterans Memorial Stadium