Taylor Mortensen cleared the bases and Whitney Johnson provide relief as North Dakota State rallied past UC Riverside 5-4 in the first of two games Friday, Feb. 10, at the Fresno State Kick-Off played at Bulldog Diamond. Fresno State defeated NDSU 1-0 in the second game before a crowd of 1,025.
North Dakota State (2-1) is scheduled to play Long Beach State (1-1) at 9 p.m. Central on Saturday, Feb. 11.
UC Riverside (1-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning highlighted by Kayla White's two-run triple.
However, the Bison rallied in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game. Jenina Ortera and Presley Glaser both singled and advanced up a base on a wild pitch. Brandi Enriquez drew a walk to load the bases.
Enter Mortensen, who laced a 1-1 pitch to center to drive home three runs to knot things up.
UC Riverside took a brief 4-3 advantage in the top of the fourth, but NDSU quickly erased that in the bottom of the frame.
Katie Tamayo walked to start the inning and scored on Alex Sobrero's triple to right center field. Sobrero crossed the plate on Ortega's single to left. Ortega went 2 for 2 in the first game.
Johnson picked up the win in relief. She struck out 10, allowed four hits and walked two over the final six innings.
Michelle Moses pitched a three-hit shutout and hit a solo home run in the first inning to lead host Fresno State (2-0) to a 1-0 win in the second game.
Moses struck out seven and walked two on the mound. She also received help on defense, as a Tamayo blast was taken away over the fence and Jamie Gay drilled one caught on the warning track.
Johnson (2-1) rebounded from the first inning home run to shut down the Bulldogs. She struck out five and walked two in recording her 14th career one-hitter. Johnson has struck out 34 batters in 20 innings through the first two days.
Ortega hit a pair of doubles in the contest, one in the second inning with two outs and the other in the seventh with one out. Mortensen had the other base hit, a single in the sixth inning.