Kierra Willis powered the Fresno State softball team to its eighth straight win, hitting a three-run home run that sent the Bulldogs over University of the Pacific 5-0 in a nonconference game Saturday in Stockton.
Willis’ eighth homer of the season, part of a four-run third inning that also included a run-scoring single by Malia Rivers, provided all the offensive support that Fresno State pitchers Jill Compton and Hannah Harris would need.
Compton allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings to improve to 26-10. Harris finished the game with a perfect seventh.
The Bulldogs (37-14, 17-4) added an insurance run in the seventh on Willis’ run-scoring single.
Fresno State now turns its attention to winning its first conference title — and automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament — since 2009 when it opens a three-game series at UNLV on Thursday.
The Bulldogs hold a two-game lead over San Diego State (34-18, 17-6), with the Aztecs set to close MW play today at Utah State.
Sunbird duo named top NCCAA field athletes
Fresno Pacific’s Donte McDaniel and Sharessa Archie were named the men’s and women’s field athletes of the year at the National Christian College Athletic Association track and field championships in Rome, Ga.
McDaniel was given the honor for the second straight season after capped his performance at the national finals Saturday by setting the meet record in the men’s long jump at 25-21/2. He also won the triple jump Friday with a meet record 50-81/4, sweeping the events for the second year in a row.
Archie took second in the women’s long jump at 18-7 to add to her victory in the triple jump Friday.
Courtney Moore made All-American status in two events for a women’s team that finished fourth with 60 points, placing second in the 1,500 (breaking her own school record in 4:25.92) and the 800 (2:14.47).
Tia Edwards also helped the women’s team by placing second in the 400 hurdles (1:01.98) in the fourth fastest time in school history.
Fresno Pacific baseball to host playoff series
Fresno Pacific’s baseball team will host Bethesda in the opening round of the National Christian College Athletic Association playoffs.
Playoff dates have not been announced, but Sunbirds officials are expecting games to be played Friday and Saturday.
The Sunbirds (32-18) earned their spot in the postseason after finishing third in the Pacific West Conference.
Bethesda, located in Anaheim, enters 28-24 and features one player with central San Joaquin Valley ties, former Garces pitcher Johnny Sanchez.
Omawahleh highlights Bulldogs’ track team
Njeri Omawahleh won the women’s 200 in 24.03 seconds and helped the 1,600 relay win to highlight Fresno State’s performances at the Northridge Invitational.
The women’s team also received wins from Kayla Hopkins in the discus (154-3), while the men got wins from Brice Sandri in the discus (175-11), Keane Bland in the in the 110 hurdles (14.46) and Shane Atkinson in the pole vault (a personal-best 16-0).