Friday, February 19, 2016

Unbeaten Fresno State knocks off Big 12 power Kansas, moves to 7-0

Photo credit: Keith Kountz

Action continued for all nine Mountain West teams on Friday.  Fresno State, ranked 22nd by Softball and 24th by USA Today/NFCA, opened its home schedule with a big sweep, taking down the Kansas Jayhawks of the Big 12, along with Sacramento State.  In the process, the Bulldogs are a perfect 7-0 to begin a season for the first time in 17 years.  The last time Fresno State was 7-0, the Bulldogs ended up reaching the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City that year (1999).

No. 22/24 Fresno State 5, Kansas 3 - Kierra Willis delivered a 2-run home run and double to finish with three RBI as the Bulldogs made it a clean sweep against Power 5 conference foes to begin the season.  Fresno State, which had already beaten teams from four of the nation's top five conferences -- the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC -- added this one against a Big 12 power in the Jayhawks, who are coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.  Jill Compton improved to 4-0 on the season with the complete-game win that featured eight strikeouts.  Malia Rivers joined Willis with a multi-hit game and freshman Dominique Jackson had an RBI single.

No. 22/24 Fresno State 9, Sacramento State 0 (5 innings) - It was a hit parade for the Bulldogs who put together a 6-run second inning and coasted to a run-rule rout of the Hornets.  Hannah Harris earned the victory, going the first four innings and allowing just two hits.  Freshman pitcher Kira McKechnie made her collegiate debut and worked a quick top of the fifth inning to close it out with the help of some strong infield defense by the Bulldogs.  Dominique Jackson went 3-for-3 with an RBI, Whitney Smith had two hits and three RBI, and Malia Rivers added a pair of hits.  Victoria Trevino added a pinch-hit RBI single for the game's final margin.

Arkansas 2, New Mexico 1 - In the Lobos' opening game on weekend one of the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, the Razorbacks scored a walk-off win with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning.  A pair of singles led off the bottom of that inning for Arkansas, which trailed New Mexico 1-0 early.

Utah 4, San Jose St. 0 - In Las Vegas, the Utes hit three home runs en route to the win over the Spartans, who dropped their sixth game in seven outings to begin the season.  Freshman Chantelle Ladner (0-3) took the loss, while Miranda Viramontes got the start and the win for the Utes (5-3).  Utah was shut out by Fresno State five days ago.

BYU 8, Boise State 0 (5 innings) - In Las Vegas, Olivia Sanchez tossed a complete-game 1-hitter as the Cougars knocked off the Broncos in five innings.  Nicole Wilson took the loss for Boise State, which lost its sixth straight game to start the year.  Ashley Thompson had a pair of hits, including a 3-run homer for BYU (6-2).

Nevada 8, UC Davis 7 (8 innings) - In Las Vegas, Megan Sweet singled with the international tiebreak rule in effect and the Wolf Pack edged the Aggies.  Jennifer Purcell, who was placed on second base via the ITB to begin the bottom of the eighth, came home to score the winning run.

Wichita St. 13, San Jose St. 2 (6 innings) - The Shockers erupted for 10 combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings to break open a close game on their way to a run-rule rout of the Spartans.  Wichita State (3-3) pounded out 14 hits and held SJSU to six.  Katelyn Linford fell to 0-3 with the loss and San Jose State fell to 1-7.

San Diego St. 2, South Dakota 1 - In San Diego, the Aztecs broke a late tie and held on for the win over the Coyotes of the Summit League.  South Dakota, which is winless at 0-7, had a season-high in hits and out-hit San Diego State 7-5.  The 1-run margin of defeat was the first time the Coyotes have come within fewer than four runs of an opponent this season.

San Diego St. 13, Texas Tech 3 (5 innings) - After spotting the Red Raiders a 2-0 lead, San Diego State stormed back on its home field with a pair of 5-run frames to win going away.  SDSU moved to 5-3 on the year, while Tech dropped to 3-5.  The Red Raiders were outscored 19-3 in losses to both the University of San Diego and San Diego State in San Diego Friday.

New Mexico 6, Loyola Marymount 5 - In Palm Springs, the Lobos spotted the Lions a 5-0 lead and then roared back with the game's final six runs to pick up a victory.  A 4-run sixth pushed New Mexico in front as UNM scored its final two on an error and hit by pitch.  Colette Robert (2-2) picked up the win and Krissy Fortner earned the save.