Fresno State ran its softball season-opening winning streak to seven games Friday, beating Kansas 5-3 and shutting out Sacramento State 9-0 on day 1 of the Bulldogs’ Kick-Off tournament at Margie Wright Diamond.
The Bulldogs, who Tuesday jumped into the top two national Top 25 polls after sweeping five games (including wins over ranked teams Tennessee and Utah) at Arizona State’s Kajikawa Classic last weekend, put away Kansas with the help of a two-run homer by cleanup hitter Kierra Willis in the fifth.
Willis’ blast gave Fresno State a 5-2 lead, after the Jayhawks (3-4) had closed to within a run. Willis’ groundout drove in a run in the first and Dominique Jackson and Malia Rivers delivered RBI singles in the second.
3 RBIs for Kierra Willis vs. Kansas and for Whitney Smith vs. Sacramento State as Fresno State swept a pair of games to open its Kick-Off tourney
Jayhawks junior Taylor Dodson, who came on as a defensive replacement in the third, countered with a two-run homer off Fresno State ace Jill Compton (4-0) in the top of the fifth. A bases-loaded walk in the sixth got Kansas its final run, but Compton struck out eight to help overcome eight hits and four walks in a complete-game effort.
A six-run second that included Jackson’s RBI double and run-scoring singles by Whitney Smith and Rivers sent Fresno State on to victory in a game called after five innings. Smith added a two-run single in the third and Hannah Harris (1-0) pitched three-hit ball over four innings.
In other games, Kansas beat UC Riverside 5-4 and UC Riverside beat Sacramento State 8-0.
FRESNO STATE KICK-OFF TOURNEY
At Margie Wright Diamond
- Saturday: Sacramento State vs. Kansas 11:30 a.m.; Sacramento State vs. UC Riverside 2 p.m.; Kansas vs. Fresno State 4:30 p.m.
- Sunday: Kansas vs. UC Riverside 9 a.m.; Fresno State vs. UC Riverside 11:30 a.m.; Fresno State vs. Sacramento State 2 p.m.
- Of note: Fresno State games broadcast on KFPT (AM 790)