Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend wrap: MWC teams hold steady

Teams held steady as few games were played around the Mountain West Conference this weekend, but there was an eye-popping result Sunday. Rain affected games at the Stanford Invitational (San Diego State) and Mustang Classic (UNLV) and other teams played light schedules as we get closer to the beginning of conference play. UNLV defeated Fairfield and lost a pair of games to No. 15 Oregon in San Luis Obispo. The Rebels play a game with reeling Cal Poly (3-21) later Sunday. San Diego State today picked up two big wins, including a key road win at Stanford. The Aztecs went extra innings to knock off the 13th ranked Cardinal 3-2. Sam Beasley came on in relief to pick up the win over Teagan Gerhart. In addtion to that victory, San Diego State picked up another one that is much better than it probably looks on paper. The Aztecs won an 8-0 run-rule decision over Pacific, is now 18-11 overall. San Diego State has currently won six straight games. Colorado State's struggles continued. The Rams split a doubleheader against Northern Colorado, which entered the weekend just 2-22 overall. BYU, Utah and New Mexico were all idle this weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend wrap: BYU climbs over .500 with wins

Brigham Young capped its best weekend of the season by winning the Spring Fling tournament in Hawai'i, upsetting a pair of ranked opponents along the way.

BYU knocked off host Hawai'i (ranked 16th and 20th in the major polls) twice before beating No. 9/10 California for the tourney crown. In other tourney games, the Cougars knocked off Cleveland State and Iona but fell to Cal in a round-robin game prior to the championship game.

BYU has a winning overall record for the first time since the season began, moving to 15-14 on the year.

Elsewhere, San Diego State finally evened its overall record at 15-15 following a good weekend in another home tournament. New Mexico struggled at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, UNLV experienced a rain-filled weekend at Stanford, and Colorado State's season-long struggles continued.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend results around the Mountain West


It was another mixed bag of results among Mountain West Conference softball teams this past weekend. San Diego State and Brigham Young continued their incredibly tough schedules. New Mexico played highly-ranked Washington tough in an extra-inning game, UNLV had its best weekend of the year, Utah got a couple of wins in tourney action, and Colorado State continued to struggle.

Brigham Young
The Cougars went 1-4 at the Campbell-Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State with their lone win a 5-0 victory Saturday over Cal Poly. The competition was stiff, including three Top 25 opponents and another that could jump into the national rankings this week following an impressive weekend. No. 25 Houston beat BYU 4-0 Thursday morning and the Cougars fell to Long Beach State 1-0 later that afternoon. On Friday, BYU lost a pair of games to ranked teams, falling to No. 23 Fresno State 7-3 and to No. 6 UCLA 5-2.

San Diego State

The weekend started off very strong with a pair of victories Thursday for the Aztecs in their Campbell-Cartier Classic. Bailey Micetich picked up a 3-0 win over Long Beach State and its star freshman pitcher, Erin Jones-Wesley. Samantha Beasley then got an impressive win as San Diego State routed No. 23/25 Houston 6-0. Cougars pitcher Donna Bourgeois took the loss. Friday night, the Aztecs suffered a 2-1 loss at home to its longtime nemesis, No. 23 Fresno State. The Bulldogs, who ended the season of San Diego State in NCAA regional action last year, beat the Aztecs for the 53rd time in 62 all-time meetings. Following the loss to Fresno State, the Aztecs faced defending national champion UCLA. The 6th-ranked Bruins were able to escape with a 3-1 win. And on Sunday, San Diego State couldn't hold a 1-0 lead, giving up two runs in the sixth inning of a surprising 2-1 loss to struggling Cal Poly. The Mustangs were just the second unranked team to grab a win over San Diego State this season.

UNLV

Following a shocking 8-5 loss to the USD Toreros in the Eller Media Stadium Classic opener on Friday, the Rebels bounced back for four straight wins. UNLV took down Troy 3-2, Bradley 7-1, Kansas 10-1 (five innings), and San Jose State 3-2 (eight innings).

New Mexico

The Lobos pushed No. 5 Washington to extra innings in a 7-4 loss Saturday before being run-ruled by the Huskies twice in the 3-game series in Albuquerque. Washington won the final two games (each in six innings) by 11-2 and 12-3 scores.

Utah

The Utes were in Tallahassee and went 2-2, splitting two-game series with both Florida State and Wisconsin. The 5-4 win over the Seminoles is a quality victory considering FSU was ranked to begin the season before falling out of the polls.

Colorado State

The Rams continued to have a difficult start to the season, hosting their own Colorado State Classic. Things didn't go well and CSU finished 1-4 despite a weak slate of opponents. The Rams were run-ruled 19-5 (five innings) by Northern Illinois, fell 13-10 to Santa Clara, lost 12-9 to Sacred Heart and dropped a 16-5 (five innings) game to Northern Illinois. The weekend ended with CSU's lone win, a 9-4 decision over Santa Clara.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

BYU, San Diego State both fall to Fresno State


A pair of Mountain West Conference teams -- Brigham Young and San Diego State -- both took it on the chin Friday in games against the 23rd-ranked Fresno State Bulldogs.

At the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego, Fresno State used a 6-run fourth inning to break things open in a 7-3 win over BYU, and then got some fine pitching to knock off San Diego State 2-1 on the Aztecs' home field.

BYU also lost to UCLA 5-2 on Friday, while San Diego State played its only game of the day against the Bulldogs. The Cougars and Aztecs have played brutal non-conference schedules thus far. BYU has faced 10 different Top 25 teams already, while San Diego State has faced eight.

Fresno State improved to 8-1 with the sweep of BYU and San Diego State. The Bulldogs' last six wins in a row have come over teams that reached the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Bulldogs shortstop Haley Gilleland went 5-for-6 with a double, two RBI, two runs and two stolen bases, and reached base seven times in eight at-bats versus Mountain West pitching Friday. Pitchers Michelle Moses (3-1) and Mackenzie Oakes (5-0) picked up the wins against BYU and San Diego State, respectively. Tori Almond (1-2) took the loss for the Cougars, while Aztecs pitcher Lorena Klopp (1-1) suffered the loss for her team. San Diego State had won its first two games in the Classic Thursday, including a win over No. 23/25 Houston.

In a bit of irony, both the Cougars and Aztecs will be conference opponents of Fresno State in the near future. Next year, BYU will compete as a member of the WAC, in which the Bulldogs compete. Fresno State, beginning July 1, 2012, will become a full member of the MWC and will play its first full softball season as a Mountain West member in the 2013 season.