Fresno State slugger Kierra Willis, the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, finally ended her power drought to start the season.
Willis, a senior, launched her first home run of the year with a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning that propelled Fresno State to a 4-3 victory against Indiana on Friday at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton.
The right-handed batter hit .345 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs last year.
But through the first third of this season, Willis was batting just .245 with no homer runs and 10 RBIs in 19 games entering Friday.
The heroic homer was Willis’ lone hit during three at-bats against Indiana (6-10).
The Hoosiers managed to load the bases with two outs in the seventh. But Bulldogs pitcher Kamalani Dung induced a grounder to end the game and pick up the win in a complete game.
The Bulldogs (13-6) have won four straight, including a 3-0 showing in the tournament in Fullerton. Fresno State also beat Indiana in its season-opener last month.
Fresno State closes out the tournament against two Power Five programs, playing Northwestern (5-10) and No. 8 Washington (13-2) on Saturday.
FRESNO STATE AT JUDI GARMAN CLASSIC IN FULLERTON
- Saturday: Fresno State vs. Northwestern, 9:30 a.m.; Fresno State vs. No. 8 Washington, 12:30 p.m.
- Records: Bulldogs 12-6, Wildcats 5-10, Huskies 13-2
- Of note: Washington has won five straight, including a 13-1 win against Indiana on Friday. The Huskies’ two losses came against Brigham Young and Missouri. Northwestern has won four straight, including wins against No. 23 Cal and South Carolina on Friday.