Jill Compton seems to have this whole complete-game victory thing down, much to the chagrin of opposing lineups in the Mountain West Conference.
The junior right-hander made it five straight route jobs Friday, pitching a six-hitter in a 5-2 victory at Utah State to open a three-game series. Kierra Willis broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh. Game 2 is at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“Today we scrapped out a win, which is most important thing,” coach Trisha Ford said. “Jill battled for us on the mound and Kierra was impressive today, that kid has come through for is in big situations.”
Compton (18-9, 2.11 ERA) stumbled in a March 29 start against San Jose State, allowing 11 hits and seven runs (three earned) in 4⅔ innings. Since then, she’s given up 21 hits and four earned runs in 35 innings.
It has helped get Fresno State (29-13, 10-3) into a share of first in the Mountain West with San Diego State. The Aztecs (27-15, 10-3) dropped into a tie for the lead after a 10-9 loss late Friday iin the opener of a series with San Jose State.
Two of Compton's victories in this recent run were shutouts of the Aztecs.
And on an individual level, the ex-Arroyo Grande High star is on pace to set a career high in complete games this season and toward the end of next year to climb into the top 10 on the career chart. She has 17 in her 31 starts in 2015 after going the distance 20 times in each of her first two seasons.
Lori Romero (1983-85, 1987) is 10th on the career list with 81 complete games. Jamie Southern (2002-05) is No. 1 with an otherworldly 141 in 147 starts.
Compton would have needed to add an extra inning of mileage on her arm Friday if not for Willis’ heroics. The Bulldogs led 2-0 until the Aggies (15-25, 7-6) tied it in the fourth on sophomore Alleyah Armendariz’s team-leading ninth homer. A leadoff single by Brenna Moss had Fresno State in business in the seventh, but Malia Rivers lined out and Michelle Solomon grounded out.
Up stepped Willis, already the team leader in homers, who knocked her seventh of the season out to left-center. Bria Kennedy drove in another run with a double, and Compton got a strikeout and two groundouts to finish it out in the bottom half.
“Utah State is playing well and it’s important for us to come out tomorrow with a lot of focus and intensity,” Ford said. “We threw away a lot of at bats today.”
Willis also had an RBI double in a two-run first. hit her team-leading ninth homer, a two-run shot, for the Aggies (15-25, 7-6) in the fourth.
Golf: Bulldogs men fifth after round 1
Neil Bautista shot a par 72 and Fresno State totaled a 7-over 295 at the El Macero Classic near Sacramento.
UC Davis and Marquette share the team lead at 281 after one round at 6,964-yard El Macero Country Club. Luke Vivolo (67) of UC Davis has the individual lead, with Marquette’s Brandon Cloete and Sacramento State’s Taylor Knoll second at 69. Bautista has a share of 12th.
Tennis: Women see winning streak halted
Mazy Watrous and Anneka Watts went to the third set of the final match before Watrous pulled out a victory as No. 68 UC Irvine beat No. 39 Fresno State 4-3, snapping the Bulldogs’ nine-match winning streak.
Anne Susdorf, No. 70 Sophie Watts and Maiar Sherif Ahmed all won as the Bulldogs (15-4) rebounded from dropping the doubles point and took a 3-1 lead. But on senior day for the Anteaters it was the sophomore Watrous who won 7-6, 5-7, 6-3 as UCI moved to 13-7.