Fresno State

'Dogs Oakes almost perfect again

The shoulders of Fresno State pitcher Mackenzie Oakes dropped ever so slightly and the crowd at Bulldog Diamond collectively sighed.

Oakes was one out from throwing her second perfect game in four days when she yielded a chopper over third base for a single.

But that was about the only thing Bulldogs fans, coaches and players could be disappointed with Tuesday as Fresno State pummeled Princeton 10-0 in five innings.

Oakes logged a one-hitter, and teammates Michelle Moses and Courtney Moore hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning en route to the Bulldogs' eighth victory this season via the eight-run mercy rule.

"I think our team did very well," said coach Margie Wright, whose Bulldogs moved to 16-9. "We had some great hits and we were very disciplined up to bat.

"We've had a lot of pitchers in [our] history that have done very well, and Mackenzie, her pitches keep getting better and she is doing well."

In Fresno State's 3-0 win against Georgetown last Saturday, Oakes went the entire seven innings to throw the Bulldogs' first perfect game in five years.

Against Princeton (2-9), Oakes faced just 16 batters, struck out four and lowered her ERA to 2.15.

Her teammates were on fire from the get-go, too, scoring four runs in the first.

Leadoff hitter Haley Gilleland finished 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Moore was 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs, and Rebecca Walker went 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs.

But after Oakes' near perfect game, the second most impressive feat was the back-to-back homers from Moses and Moore.

With the duo hitting No. 3 and No. 4 in the lineup, Moses pulled a home run over the left-field wall, followed by Moore's opposite-field homer to right.

It was Moses' fifth and Moore's fourth homers of the season.

"It feels good to come out and play like we did," said Moses, who finished 1 for 3 with two runs and an RBI. "It boosts your confidence. We've got tougher games ahead, and it's good to know we can get it down."