Kierra Willis homered, drove in four runs and scored three as Fresno State held on for a 9-6 win over Colorado State on Friday night at Margie Wright Diamond while tying the Mountain West record for best record to start league play.
The Bulldogs, ranked 20th and 22nd in national polls, are 32-9-1 overall and 13-0 in the conference after matching San Diego State’s league start in 2006. Fresno State will attempt to break the record when the series resumes Saturday at 6 p.m.
Willis, a junior from Pleasant Hill, hit a two-run homer in the first, an RBI groundout in the the third and an RBI double in the fourth as the Bulldogs bolted to an 8-2 lead.
But Colorado State, which arrived 7-33 all-time against Fresno State, battled back to throw a scare at the Bulldogs and ace Jill Compton.
Coming off her second MW Pitcher of the Week honor of the season, the senior from Oceano registered her 19th win, but in a struggle. She went the distance, giving up nine hits and six walks, striking out eight.
Malia Rivers, daughter of former Fresno State star running back Ron Rivers, singled before Willis’ HR in the first.
Bria Kennedy’s leadoff home run charged a four-run Fresno State third for a 6-2 lead. It also featured a Rivers triple, Alyssa Villalpando double, Lindsey Willmon’s RBI single and Dominique Jackson’s run-scoring double.
Then the Bulldogs made it 8-2 in the fourth on an error, Willis’ double and Villalpando’s RBI single.
Men’s golf – Fresno State, led by Trevor Clayton’s 6-under 66, bolted to a five-shot lead after the first round of the Mountain West Championship at the Catalina Course at OMNI Tucson National.
The Bulldogs’ 13-under 275 marked only the 15th time since 1993 that the program fired a 13 under or better. New Mexico and San Diego State are tied for second at 280, Colorado State is fourth at 281 and Nevada fifth at 282 in the 54-hole tournament that will resume Saturday and close Sunday.
Clayton, a junior from Clovis High, made five birdies and had no bogeys over his final 11 holes. He’s in second place in the 55-player field, trailing only Nevada’s Corey Eddings (7-under 65).
Fresno State also received under-par rounds from former Buchanan star Justin Avery (69), Alex Lee (69) and Greg Gildea (71). Avery and Lee are tied for sixth with four others.
Men’s tennis – The Bulldogs defeated UC Santa Cruz 7-0 and lost to UC Irvine 4-3 in a Senior Day doubleheader Thursday at the Wathen Center.
Nikolas Papic, Euan McIntosh, Mantas Bugailiskis, Patrik Pech, Youssef Hassan and Jakob Keppelmann each delivered straight-set singles wins for Fresno State against Santa Cruz.
Hassan also won in straight sets at No. 5 singles and McIntosh rallied for a three-set victory at No. 2 against Irvine. The Bulldogs earned the doubles point against the Anteaters behind wins from the teams of McIntosh and Pech and Bugailiskis and Hassan.