Fresno State Softball Falls to Cal State Fullerton in Los Angeles Regional

Release courtesy of Fresno State Athletics

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Fresno State fell 6-4 in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional opener on Friday against Cal State Fullerton at Easton Stadium. The Bulldogs (41-11-1) move to the elimination bracket and will face the loser of game two featuring tournament-host UCLA and Cal State Bakersfield tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Friday's contest saw five lead changes and two tied scores before CSU Fullerton scored a pair of unanswered runs in the top of the seventh to advance to 44-14 on the season. The `Dogs had six hits on the day, drew four walks and stranded six runners on base.

"Obviously that was a tough loss for us," head coach Trisha Ford said. "I thought we came out with some good energy but we didn't execute in some key situations. We're going to bounce back. The good thing is it's double elimination and we're going to come out ready to go tomorrow."

As just the second Bulldog base runner, senior catcher Paige Gumz gave Fresno State an early 1-0 edge after doubling down the right field line, advancing on a mishandled ball and scoring on a wild pitch. An inning prior Gumz has gunned down her eighth runner caught stealing from behind the dish.

Cal State Fullerton had four runners reach base in the top of the first inning but were left scoreless as the results of a bases-loaded strikeout from starting pitcher Jill Compton (24-6). After being downed in order in the second, the Titans took a 2-1 lead on a two-run homer.

Fresno State enjoyed its second lead of the day on a two-run knock by Mountain West Player of the Year Kierra Willis, which matches the team's individual-high of 11 home runs generated this season. CSUF made a pitching change after Alyssa Villalpando followed up with a hard-hit single in the bottom of the third.

Fullerton answered back with a game-tying RBI-single in the middle of the fourth and regained the lead on one hit in the fifth. The second even score was the result of Fresno State capitalizing on an infield throwing error.

CSUF added two runs on three hits and one error in the top of the seventh to claim the win. The Titans will take on the winner of UCLA and Cal State Bakersfield tomorrow at noon.