Two big swings proved to be too much for the Hawaii softball team to overcome.
Fresno State scored all of its runs on a pair of two-run homers and the Bulldogs swept yesterday’s Western Athletic Conference doubleheader at Bulldog Diamond in Fresno, Calif.
Andrea Ortega’s homer in the fourth inning was the difference in Fresno State’s 2-1 win in the first game. Nicole Angene hit the decisive shot in the sixth inning of the finale and the Bulldogs completed a series sweep with a 2-0 win.
Michelle Moses, who threw a no-hitter against UH on Friday, earned a save in the first game and held UH to two hits in a complete-game performance in the second.
"We just couldn’t get the job done," UH coach Bob Coolen said. "We had runners on base and couldn’t get the big hit."
UH had won 13 consecutive WAC series and hadn’t been swept since a visit to Fresno in 2008.
The sweep dropped UH (25-12, 3-3 WAC) into the middle of the WAC standings, while Fresno State (22-8) and New Mexico State both improved to 6-0 this weekend. UH returns to Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium on Friday to begin a three-game series against Nevada (10-22, 1-5).
"We got more hits today, which was great; we just needed to the get the timely hits," said UH center fielder Kelly Majam, who went 3-for-5 yesterday. "Those will come … it’s just today it didn’t go our way. (Fresno State) didn’t get as many hits, but they got the hits when it counted and that’s what we need to do in this next series.
"We need to put these games behind us. It’s hard to win in Fresno, but we’re going back home and playing another good team, so we just need to look forward to those games and learn from our losses."
In yesterday’s first game, UH sophomore Kaia Parnaby (9-3) struck out eight and held the Bulldogs to five hits. But one of the five was Ortega’s go-ahead homer, her third of the season.
UH scored its lone run of the weekend in the third inning on an RBI single by Jenna Rodriguez. But the Wahine left nine runners on base, including two in scoring position in the sixth while trailing 2-1.
Melissa Gonzalez and Alex Aguirre both singled to open the sixth and advanced on a bunt. Moses came in to relieve Fresno State starter Mackenzie Oakes (13-2) and got Stephanie Ricketts and Majam to pop out to catcher Caitlin Stiglich to preserve the Bulldogs’ lead.
Moses returned for the series finale and was locked in a pitchers duel with Ricketts (15-9) going into the sixth. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Ricketts walked Ortega and Angene followed with a homer to right-center to break the scoreless tie.
A day after striking out 11 UH batters, Moses (8-6) struck out just one in yesterday’s start. Among her 21 outs, 11 were flyballs contained by Bulldog Diamond’s deep outfield dimensions and eight popups to the infield.
"She’s a really good pitcher and she gets the ball to move pretty well," Majam said. "It was tough to hit off of her, but I think we did make better adjustments and we just needed to hit more line drives than popups."
FRESNO STATE 2, HAWAII 1
At Fresno, Calif.
|UH (25-11, 3-2)||001||000||0||—||1||8||0|
|FSU (21-8, 5-0)||000||200||x||—||2||5||1|
Kaia Parnaby and Sharla Kliebenstein. Mackenzie Oakes, Michelle Moses (6) and Caitlin Stiglich. W–Oakes. L–Parnaby. S–Moses.
Leading hitters–Hawaii: Kelly Majam, 2-3; Jenna Rodriguez, RBI. Fresno State: Andrea Ortega, 2-2, HR, 2 RBIs.
FRESNO STATE 2, HAWAII 0
|UH (25-12, 3-3)||000||000||0||—||0||2||0|
|FSU (22-8, 6-0)||000||002||x||—||2||4||0|
Stephanie Ricketts and Sharla Kliebenstein. Michelle Moses and Caitlin Stiglich. W–Moses. L–Ricketts.
Leading hitters–Fresno State: Haley Gilleland, 2-3; Nicole Angene, HR, 2 RBIs.