Thursday, March 29, 2012

Conference play begins next week

Conference play begins next week in the Mountain West, and teams may be looking forward to it after a difficult non-conference season.

Wednesday was one of the toughest days of the season in MW softball as the league went 1-5 in non-conference play.  Colorado State was the lone winner yesterday, shutting out Northern Colorado 8-0.

San Diego State suffered its most heartbreaking loss of the season in dramatic fashion.  Justeen Maeva drove in five runs to break the Aztecs' career RBI record, but San Diego State blew a 5-run lead in the seventh inning in a crushing, 8-6 loss at No. 19 Arizona.

The Wildcats trailed 6-1 entering the bottom of the seventh and were later down to their last strike, trailing 6-3 when a 3-run homer off Bailey Micetich tied the game.  Arizona got a 2-run, walk-off home run in the eighth to win it, pushing San Diego State's record below .500 for the first time this season at 18-19.

Boise State is now looking at a 3-game losing streak after a series sweep at the hands of Oregon.  The Broncos lost the opener to the Ducks 4-1, and were run-ruled 14-6 in five innings in the nightcap of a Wednesday doubleheader.  Oregon completed the 3-game sweep of Boise State with a 6-4 win Thursday. UNLV also was swept in a doubleheader at Southern Utah Wednesday, falling 9-1 (six innings) and 3-2.

New Mexico plays a key, 3-game series at Texas this weekend, along with a single game vs. Tulsa.

The Golden Hurricane are tied for the No. 4 spot in the Mid-Major Softball Poll alongside Fresno State, which joins the Mountain West on July 1.  Along in the mid-major rankings, three current MW teams are included.  New Mexico is seventh, San Diego State is tied for 11th, and Boise State is 17th.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No. 23/24 Lobos lose 4th consecutive game

New Mexico, which just moved into the Softball Top 25 poll this week, may find its stay in the national rankings short-lived.

The Lobos, No. 24 by ESPN and No. 23 by USA Today/NFCA, lost their fourth consecutive game -- all against unranked opponents -- Wednesday, falling to New Mexico State 8-6 in Las Cruces.  It was the third loss of the week for New Mexico, which was swept by Texas Tech Monday.

The problem for New Mexico of late has been pitching and the Lobos struggled again Wednesday.  Five of the nine hits allowed by UNM to the Aggies went for extra bases.  New Mexico State had at least one double in each of the first four innings against Lobo pitcher Kaela DeBroeck and Carrie Sheehan.  Staci Rodriguez's 3-run home run in the sixth put the game away for New Mexico State.

The Lobos are allowing an average of more than eight runs per game over their past six contests.  New Mexico State's 8-run uprising means UNM has now given up a total of 50 runs in just the past six games.  After beginning the season with a 13-1 record, the Lobos have fallen on hard times, going 4-5 in their past nine games overall.

All six of New Mexico's losses this season have come to unranked teams.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

SDSU falls to future Mountain West foe Fresno St.

Next year it will be a Mountain West Conference game, and San Diego State is probably glad it didn't count as a league game this year.

Fresno State, which joins the Mountain West officially in less than four months, got a great pitching performance from Michelle Moses Friday as the Bulldogs knocked off the Aztecs 4-1 in their own San Diego Classic.

Moses threw a complete-game 1-hitter, struck out 10 and didn't allow an earned run as Fresno State beat the Aztecs in San Diego for the second straight season.  The right-handed pitcher had her no-hitter broken up in the sixth inning by SDSU senior Felicia Reifschneider, and the Aztecs scored on a Bulldog infield error.

With the score 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Fresno State hit three consecutive doubles to break the game open.  The last two came off Rebecca Arbino as the Bulldogs went in front 4-1.  Fresno State had six extra-base hits in the game -- five doubles and a triple -- with eight of nine hits overall coming from freshmen and sophomores for the Bulldogs who will play in the Mountain West next season.

It was Fresno State's third win already this season over a 2011 NCAA Tournament team.  San Diego State bounced back following the setback to the Bulldogs and routed Charlotte 9-0 in five innings.