One day after regaining a share of the Mountain West Conference lead, the Fresno State softball team gave it right back.
Utah State’s Paxton Provost, a cleanup hitter who had not shown much power this season, slugged her second home run of the game, a solo shot off Bulldogs right-hander Jill Compton, to break a tie in the bottom of the sixth as the Aggies won game 2 of the series 4-3 on Saturday afternoon in Logan.
The Bulldogs (29-14, 10-4) saw their five-game winning streak snapped. The last of those wins, 5-3 in Friday’s series opener, combined with San Diego State’s 10-9 loss to San Jose State later that night, had left the Aztecs and Fresno State tied for first.
But now Fresno State again needs help to win the conference championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. San Diego State lost again to the Spartans, 10-1, in another night game Saturday. That puts San Jose State (28-14, 8-3) in control of its destiny, the only team in the conference with only three losses and now with series victories over both Fresno State and the Aztecs (27-16, 10-4)
“That was a tough loss for us today,” Bulldogs coach Trisha Ford said. “We hit a lot of balls hard, just right at somebody and have to do better with runners in scoring position. We have left double digits on base too many times and it bit us in the butt.”
Compton (18-10), the team’s ace and on a streak of five straight complete-game victories, was playing the role of reliever after the Bulldogs scored twice in the top of the sixth to get starter Hannah Harris (31/3 innings, three runs) off the hook.
Taylor Langdon was the bridge out of the bullpen, getting five outs across the fourth and fifth innings after Harris was chased by Noelle Johnson’s two-run home run.
Entering the game, Provost and Johnson had combined for five homers in 164 at-bats. Johnson (14-11) also went the distance for the win, Utah State’s first over the Bulldogs since 2001, while pitching her fifth game in five days.
Fresno State outhit the Aggies 10-5, but the Nos. 2-5 hitters in the lineup — Malia Rivers, Michelle Solomon, Kierra Willis and Paige Gumz — went 1 for 15.
Utah State improved to 15-25 overall and 8-6 in the conference. The series finale is at 11 a.m. PDT Saturday.
Bowling team brings Carlson Cup home
Fresno State’s men’s bowling team captured the Glenn Carlson Cup as winners of the Intercollegiate Club Championship in Arlington, Ill., bringing home a trophy named for the team’s founder.
The team: sophomore Parker Brooks, junior Riely Chin, junior Gregory Colburn, senior Christopher Davidson, junior Joshua Taylor and junior Landon Yoshida.
All America awards went to senior Talia St. Angelo (first team), and sophomore Bianca Taylor and graduate student Lauren Orgeron (top 30); and to Chin (second team), and Colburn and Taylor (top 30).
Chris Preble is the coach.
The two-day competition was April 4-5 at Arlington Lanes. Glenn Carlson founded Fresno State’s bowling team in 1970 and his name was put on the trophy because of his awards and other accomplishments and commitment to the collegiate sport. He also was a university employee, working in the Auxiliary Corporations division from October 1968 until his retirement in 2001.
Golf: Bulldogs men dip to last at tourney
Fresno State fell into last while UC Davis surged in sole possesion of the team lead after two rounds of the El Macero Classic.
The Aggies, paced by individual leader Luke Vivolo, are at 8-under 281-287-568, with Marquette (281-296) and Sacramento State (295-282) both nine strokes back. Fresno State is at 295-308-603. Vivolo, a junior, shot a career-best 6-under 66 at El Macero Country Club. The Bulldogs’ Neil Bautista (72-79) and Cody Riecks (73-78) are at 151 and tied for 35th.