Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresno State, Colorado State, Nevada post sweeps


The Mountain West softball weekend concluded with five games being played Sunday.  Fresno State completed a 3-game sweep of a Utah State team that just two days ago was unbeaten in conference play and in first place.  Colorado State, which was swept by Utah State last weekend, rebounded to sweep Boise StateNevada, which entered the week 0-3, completed a 3-game sweep of New Mexico.  And San Jose State, after falling Friday, came back to win twice over UNLV Sunday, to knock the Rebels out of sole possession of first place in the Mountain West.

Fresno State 4, Utah State 3 - The Bulldogs overcame some early base running mistakes with a walk-off win over the Aggies.  Utah State was three outs away from its first win over Fresno State in 21 tries, but failed to close the deal in the bottom of the seventh.  Trailing 3-2, Bulldogs shortstop Brooke Ortiz tripled to begin the inning, and tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Michelle Solomon.  Stesha Brazil then walked and advanced to third on a double by Vonnie Martin.  Sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith then delivered the game-winning single down the line in right field as Fresno State won its 21st consecutive game over Utah State in a lopsided all-time series controlled by the Bulldogs.  Fresno State hurt itself with base running issues early, and left runners stranded in scoring position in five of the first six innings before an impressive late rally.  Jill Compton got the win in relief of Hannah Harris, tossing four innings and allowing just one hit.  That hit, though, came in the seventh with Jo Koons gave Utah State a short-lived 3-2 lead on an RBI triple that followed a walk.  Fresno State out-hit the Aggies 11 to seven, and all nine Bulldog starters had hits.  Ortiz and Kelly Megee had two apiece.

San Jose State 14-4, UNLV 4-2 - Only eight days after Fresno State set a Mountain West record with 13 runs in a single inning, the Spartans tied the mark in a 14-4 (five innings) win over UNLV.  In a game that resumed from Saturday in the fourth inning tied at 1-1, the Spartans came ready to play.  San Jose State scored 13 runs on 12 hits in the fourth inning to break the tie and cruise to the easy win.  In the nightcap, the Spartans scored the first four runs of the game and held off the Rebels to win the series two games to one.  Amanda Oliveto took the loss in game two as UNLV committed four errors.  Devin Caldwell had a pair of hits for San Jose State in game three. 

Nevada 3, New Mexico 1 - In Reno, the host Wolf Pack completed the sweep as Megan Dortch allowed four hits in the win.  The tough-luck losing pitcher was New Mexico's Lisa Rodrigues, who went the distance and allowed only one hit.  Nevada scored all the runs it would need in the first inning without getting a hit.  A walk, New Mexico error, hit-by-pitch, illegal pitch call and a wild pitch spelled trouble for UNM and aided the home-standing Wolf Pack.  Rodrigues was pitching a no-hitter until two outs in the sixth when Jasmine Jenkins' RBI single represented Nevada's first and only hit of the day.  Jenkins' hit scored Ashley Butera, who walked.  Rodrigues gave up a pair of walks in the inning and uncorked a wild pitch as well.  Nevada had six players reach base via the walk, which has been a problem for UNM pitchers in conference play.

Colorado State 12, Boise State 4 (6 innings) - In Fort Collins, the Rams rebounded for a series sweep over the Broncos just a week after they were swept themselves in three games at Utah State.  Rebecca Patton got the start for Boise State for the fourth consecutive time in conference play, and struggled.  In her sixth appearance in six Mountain West games, she allowed seven runs (six earned) in only two innings.  The big blow was a grand slam off the bat of CSU's Shae Rodriguez, who finished with five RBI.  Chelsea O'Connor had three hits and three RBI, and was the only Rams player with more than one hit in the game.  CSU finished with nine hits.  Holly Reinke allowed six hits and four earned runs to pick up the win, going the distance.