Thursday, February 21, 2013

Aztecs, Rams go 0-4 Thursday in Palm Springs

It's had three tourney name changes over the years but one thing remains the same:  A powerful group of teams will gather this week in the Palm Springs area for the nation's premier in-season tournament.

Now known as the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (and formerly the Cathedral City Classic and the Palm Springs Softball Classic prior to that), this week's field of 35 teams includes more than half of the Mountain West Conference.

Four of the Mountain West's seven softball teams are in action this week at the Big League Dreams complex just east of Palm Springs.  Colorado State and San Diego State get underway today, with each facing a ranked opponent.  The Rams meet No. 13/16 Georgia, while the Aztecs face off against No. 7/7 Missouri, which beat Fresno State twice last weekend.

Nevada and UNLV will begin play Friday in the MNCC.  The one team noticeably absent:  Fresno State, which did not travel to Palm Springs for the first time in eight seasons.  Instead, the Bulldogs will be facing a light field at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.

Boise State this weekend faces a somewhat soft slate at the Amy S. Harrison Classic, hosted by UC Riverside.  And New Mexico will play four games at the Islander Classic, hosted by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Over the next four days at the MNCC, Mountain West teams will meet the likes of UCLA, Oregon, LSU, Oregon State, BYU, Virginia, Syracuse, Ohio State and UC Santa Barbara, among others.

Keep checking back for updates throughout the rest of the day and weekend.

No. 13/16 Georgia 5, Colorado State 4 -- Freshman Geri Ann Glasco was a one-woman wrecking crew for the Bulldogs, who came from behind to defeat the Rams in morning action at the MNCC.  Glasco got the pitching win by scattering nine hits and also blasted a 3-run home run that proved to be the eventual game-winning hit against CSU senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy.  The Rams were up 4-1 in the fourth inning and led 4-2 when Glasco's bomb cleared the breakaway fence in center field an inning later.  McCarthy (4-3) allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked one. Glasco's homer was Georgia's only extra-base hit in the contest.  Emily Pohl, who hit a double for the Rams' only extra-base hit, and Cassy Mosser had two hits apiece for CSU.  Chelsea Biglow had three RBI, including a 2-run single in the third that put Colorado State in front 4-1.  Glasco allowed only one single over the game's final 4 1/3 innings, and no Rams player advanced past first base after the third inning.

Oregon State 11, Colorado State 0 (5 innings) -- Pitching woes told the story of this one at the MNCC as the Beavers took advantage of 11 walks from CSU pitchers in a run-rule rout.  The first seven batters of the game all reached base safely for Mizzou as Rams starting pitcher Kailey Snyder failed to record an out.  Snyder walked four of the first six batters she faced and gave up a pair of hits as the Beavers scored five in the opening frame.  Reliever Molly Randle walked the first batter she faced to force in a run, and OSU scored four more times in the second to go up 9-0 early.  Randle ended up walking seven. Oregon State senior starter Marina Demore allowed only two hits, both singles, to Ashlie Ortega.  Colorado State has now lost three straight and has allowed nine or more runs in four of its past five games.

No. 7/7 Missouri 2, San Diego State 1 -- Sophomore pitcher Bailey Erwin got the complete-game win as the 7th-ranked Tigers of Mizzou nipped the Aztecs at the MNCC.  Erwin became the third different Missouri pitcher to beat a Mountain West team in less than a week.  Senior First Team All-American Chelsea Thomas and senior NFCA All-Region pick Nicole Hudson both pitched complete-game wins over Fresno State last weekend in Santa Barbara. It's the fourth loss to a ranked team for San Diego State this season.  Freshman left-hander Daneille O'Toole got the start for SDSU and allowed four hits through six innings before giving way to Rebecca Arbino in the seventh.

Virginia 5, San Diego State 2 -- Melanie Mitchell got the win for the Cavaliers in the day's final game Thursday at the MNCC.  The Aztecs, like Colorado State earlier, saw their record drop to .500 at 6-6 overall.