Fresno, Calif. - Taking on their regional rival in their final tune-up game before the start of conference, the Pacific softball team suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fresno State on Wednesday, March 20. The loss for the Tigers dropped their record to 15-16 as Pacific fell below .500 for the first time in 2013 while the Bulldogs improved to 18-13 on the year.
Facing the offensive woes that have plagued them througout the last few weeks, the Tigers had their chances to break through against the Bulldogs only to come up just short. In four different innings the Tigers threatened to break through in the night as Pacific put runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings of play. Three times in the night, Pacific had a runner at second and no one out in the inning only to be stymied by the Bulldogs' starting pitcher, Jill Compton. In the fifth, Pacific had its best chance to score when seniors Amy Moore and Nikki Armagost came up with a single and a double, respectively, netting the Tigers a runner at third with only one out in the inning. However, just as she had already done twice and would do once again, Compton was up to the challenge as she retired Pacific without suffering any damage.
With her offense at the plate struggling to provide support, junior Tori Shepard was the recipient of Pacific's bad luck as the third-year pitcher was tagged with the loss despite allowing just one run. In total, Shepard allowed just five hits on the night, but two came in a fateful third inning when a single, sacrifice, and a second single netted the Bulldogs what would be the game-winning run. Outside of the run, Shepard matched Compton pitch-for-pitch as the juinor got herself out of a handful of jams including pitching out of bases loaded trouble in the fourth to give Pacific a chance late in the game.
Looking towards conference action and away from the past three weeks of the season, the Tigers will head back home to take on UC Riverside in their Big West Conference opener on Saturday, March 23. The two teams will meet for a doubleheader at Bill Simoni Field beginning at 12:00 pm with the second game following.