Fresno State borrowed a number from Tom Waits, the one that reminds “a little rain never hurt no one.”
Tuesday’s weather may have put a damper on events around the city, including what was scheduled as a doubleheader at Margie Wright Diamond. But the Bulldogs refused to submit fully to the inclement weather, getting in one game and beating visiting New Mexico 7-1.
At 6 p.m. — after a two-hour rain delay from the original starting time for the first of the two games — the teams finally took the field on a brisk 55-degree night.
The doubleheader was called off, rescheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday when the teams already were scheduled to play the series finale.
But the Bulldogs (26-13, 7-3 Mountain West Conference) still appeared anxious and eager to get the ball rolling from the start, while the Lobos appeared slow in turning over their engine.
All according to plan, Fresno State coach Trisha Ford said.
“We had talked about it (Monday), that today was going to be a day where we were going to pull the tarp on and off,” Ford said. “Our warm-up was good, we had good energy, so we were ready to go.”
Fresno State quickly got a rally going, putting its first two runners on after a droppped ball at first allowed leadoff hitter Brenna Moss to reach and Malia Rivers followed with a single. Michelle Solomon doubled off the wall in right-center to drive them both home for a 2-0 lead.
Solomon went 3 for 4, adding an RBI double to cap a three-run fourth that pushed the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-1.
“I was feeling good all day,” Solomon said. “Our goal today was to move the runners any way we could and that’s what I really took to heart.”
The Lobos (22-17, 6-4) got their only run in the second when Karissa Haleman yanked the first pitch she saw for a home run to left-center.
Fresno State’s Jill Compton (16-9), the conference’s reigning pitcher of the week, was a bit wild but didn’t give up anything else on the scoreboard en route to her third straight complete-game victory. The junior right-hander fanned seven to help her survive five hits and six walks. She also hit a batter and made 111 pitches.
New Mexico’s Carrie Sheehan (6-3) allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and three walks in six innings.
Tested by the rain
The grounds crew battled against the weather for nearly six hours to prevent whatever they could from getting soaked at Margie Wright Diamond.
The crew hastily painted the infield lines and rolled out the tarp before the last of the day’s showers passed through. A little more than 30 minutes later, the tarp came off and groundskeepers were joined by assistant coaches and support staff from both sides to ready the field.
“Because it was a conference game and a big series for us to play, we were going to try and get in at least one game tonight,” Fresno State Assistant Director of Events Julie Querido said, admitting she wasn’t too worried they would do just that.
“Our groundskeepers showed up at noon. We played off the rain and saw where it went,” she said.
Said Ford: “We have a phenomenal grounds crew. They did a great job today. It’s one of the advantages of having such a fantastic stadium.”