Fresno State

Fresno State roundup: Softball team splits pair at tourney

One day after losing its first game of the season, the Fresno State softball team lost its first game by shutout and mercy rule.

Behind Cheridan Hawkins’ 12 strikeouts, No. 7 Oregon blanked the 20th-ranked Bulldogs 9-0 over five innings Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City. Fresno State (11-2) began the day with a 6-4, eight-inning victory over Northwestern (6-7).

“Today was full of great things and also showed where we need to clean some things up,” Fresno State coach Trisha Ford said.

Oregon (10-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Bulldogs starter Hannah Harris (2-1) before breaking things open with a three-run fifth on a home run by Lauren Lindvall. Alyssa Villalpando and Paige Gumz had the only hits for Fresno State off Hawkins, both singles.

In the win over Northwestern, Dominique Jackson and Lindsey Willmon hit back-to-back homers in the eighth. It was Jackson’s second homer of the game and fourth of the season. Jill Compton (6-1) went the distance, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) over eight innings.

The Bulldogs, now 1-2 at the Mary Nutter Classic after starting the season 10-0, will continue tournament play Sunday against Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. and Cal State Northridge at 4:30.

Indoor track & field – The Fresno State 4x400-meter relay finished off the Mountain West indoor track and field championships in Albuquerque by winning the event and breaking an 18-year-old school record. The 3:38.05 time of Kyra Johnson, Dezirae Johnson, Nailah Harris-Murillo and Njeri Omawahleh ranks third in conference history.

“After the first two years I’ve been here and taking second, we wanted first so bad today,” said junior Omawahleh, who ran the anchor leg. “We wanted to PR, and we got a school record. We just wanted it really bad, and we got it.”

The foursome also set personal records in their individual events. Omawahleh clocked 24.05 seconds in the 200 meters, one day after setting a new PR of 24.13 in Friday’s qualifier. She finished fifth.

In the 400, Dezirae Johnson (54.01) and Kyra Johnson (54.32) finished second and third, respectively, with new personal bests, while Harris-Murillo (55.66) did the same in placing sixth. Fresno State scored a combined 18 points in the event.

The Bulldogs finished eighth in the team standings with 49 points. Colorado State (115) and San Diego State (105) went 1-2.

Air Force edged Utah State for the men’s title, 142-141, by finishing second in the closing 4x400 relay. Fresno State does not have a men’s indoor team.

Etc. – Paced by singles victories by the Ahmed sisters, the Bulldogs’ women’s tennis team came from behind to defeat Washington 4-3 on Friday at the Spalding G. Wathen Tennis Center.

At top singles, the Bulldogs’ Mayar Sherif Ahmed defeated Maria Biryukova 6-2, 6-2. Older sister Rana Sherif Ahmed followed with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Barbora Michalkova to give Fresno State a 3-0 lead.

The Bulldogs (6-4) will host Saint Mary’s at 11 a.m. Sunday.

▪ The equestrian team dropped two matches in Athens, Ga., an 8-7 decision Friday to Kansas State followed by a 16-4 loss to Georgia on Saturday.

Fresno State (3-7) will next host Baylor and South Dakota State on March 18-19 at the Student Horse Center.