Fresno State’s attempt to muscle past Baylor in a matchup of national top-25 softball teams fell short Saturday.
Down 5-3 to the No. 22/24 Bears on Day 2 of the Judi Garman Classic at Cal State Fullerton, the No. 21/22 Bulldogs pulled closer on freshman Dominique Jackson’s team-leading sixth home run but saw Kierra Willis robbed of what would have been her third as Baylor held on for a 5-4 win.
Baylor is ranked 22nd in the ESPN.com rankings and 24th in the USA Today poll. Fresno State is ranked 21st in the ESPN.com rankings and 22nd in the USA Today poll.
Fresno State rallied to take a 3-2 lead with a two-run top of the sixth, the go-ahead RBI coming on a Malia Rivers infield single. Baylor (14-3) struck back for three in its half on a two-run double by Sarah Smith and Ari Hawkins’ triple.
The Bulldogs (13-4) faced Wisconsin in a late game, then will close the tournament against No. 22 Oregon State and Cal on Sunday.
▪ The defending champion Bulldogs women’s golf team will be seeking a third consecutive title at the 15-team Fresno State Classic played over 54 holes Monday and Tuesday at San Joaquin Country Club.
Hannah Sodersten leads Fresno State with a 72.40 scoring average through seven tournaments, and the senior from Clovis East High and sophomore Joanna Kim have the best finishes for the Bulldogs this season, each tying for second (Sodersten: Colorado State Ram Classic; Kim: WSU Cougar Cup).
Et cetera – Fresno Pacific snapped an eight-game losing streak in baseball Friday at Academy of Art in Oakland, taking the second game of a PacWest doubleheader 9-7 in extra innings.
The Sunbirds rallied with four runs in their final at-bat of the scheduled seven-inning game, then took the lead in the ninth when Nick Pate and Rickie Garcia each connected for run-scoring singles. Fresno Pacific (6-11, 1-2) dropped the first game after leading 2-1 in the ninth, and Saturday’s series finale was postponed because of rain.
Preston Scott went 4 for 7 over the two games, and Pate was 4 for 8 with six RBIs, including a three-run homer in Game 2.
The Sunbirds will next open a four-game PacWest series at Concordia with a doubleheader Friday.
▪ Game 3 of the Reedley-Fresno City baseball series was postponed by rain Saturday and reset for 4 p.m. Monday at Reedley. Fresno City (5-6, 1-1 Central Valley Conference) won 13-4 Thursday at Euless Ballpark after the NorCal 12th-ranked Tigers (10-5, 4-1) won 8-1 at home Tuesday.