Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fresno State wins tourney, finishes weekend 4-1

The first week of the 2013 regular season is officially in the books.  The Mountain West had a difficult day overall Sunday, but conference newcomer Fresno State emerged with a 4-1 record on the season's opening weekend after winning its own Fresno State Kick-Off championship title.

Boise State closed out play in the Kajikawa Classic with a pair of ranked opponents and was run-ruled twice, Nevada split at the Red Desert Classic, and UNLV closed out its Sportco Kick-Off with a shutout loss.  New Mexico served as a one-day replacement team at New Mexico State's Hotel Encanto Invitational and ended the weekend without a win.

Sunday's results:

Fresno State 3, Sacramento State 2 -- The Bulldogs captured the championship crown of their Fresno State Kick-Off by defeating the Hornets at Bulldog Diamond.  In her first weekend as a collegian, freshman pitcher Jillian Compton out-dueled Sacramento State ace Taylor Stroud, who made the 55th pitching appearance of her career.  It was a bit of sweet revenge for the Bulldogs, who lost last year at home to the Hornets when Stroud notched a win over former Fresno State standout Michelle Moses.  Today, Compton scattered seven hits and worked out of some tight jams to pick up her third win of the season.  Sophomore center fielder Brenna Moss had a big day with a pair of hits, a walk and two stolen bases.  It was Moss' stolen base in the sixth inning that triggered the eventual game-winning play.  Sacramento State catcher Kortney Solis' throwing error on the steal attempt allowed Maria Sio to score from third.  Sio was on third base after replacing Kelly Megee, who worked a key, pinch-hit walk to begin the inning.  Fresno State freshman catcher Paige Gumz continued a strong weekend with a pair of hits, including a double.  Junior first baseman Stesha Brazil also paced the Bulldog attack with two hits of her own, and Diane Runge added an RBI single.  Fresno State and Sacramento State (a 27-19 team a year ago) were both 3-1 in the tournament heading into the championship game.

Oregon 9, Boise State 1 (6 innings) -- At Tempe's Kajikawa Classic, the No. 5/6 Ducks rolled to a run-rule win over the Broncos.  Jessica Moore limited Boise State's high-powered offense to just five hits, all singles, in five innings of work to grab the victory.  Canadian National Team pitcher Karissa Hovinga pitched a one-two-three bottom of the sixth inning to end it for Oregon (4-2).  Lela Work started and took the loss for Boise State, allowing six runs (just two earned) and five hits. Kenzie Cole entered in the third and gave up three earned runs and six hits.  Work and Cole gave up two home runs each as Oregon banged out four in the game and five extra-base hits in all.  It was the first run-rule defeat for Boise State since the Ducks did it to them last March.  Tara Glover, who's only been held hitless in six of 58 games in a Broncos uniform, didn't get a hit.  It was the third time she's suffered that fate against Oregon pitching spanning two seasons.

Utah Valley 11, Nevada 1 (5 innings) -- It was a rough outing for Northern Illinois transfer pitcher Megan Dortch and the Wolf Pack at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.  Dortch gave up three hits, including a home run, in the first inning, and was pulled after surrendering four straight hits to begin the second inning.  Dortch was charged with seven hits and six runs -- all earned -- in 1+ inning. Utah Valley took a 5-run lead in the second and never looked back, later hitting a grand slam against Pack reliever Karlyn Jones.  Karley Hopkins continued her strong start to the season with two more hits, and freshman Jasmine Jenkins had a 2-hit game as well.  Utah Valley completed an impressive first weekend of the season, going 4-1, including a win Saturday over Oklahoma State.

Nevada 6, Utah 4 -- After being run-ruled by Utah Valley, the Wolf Pack responded with a victory over a Pac-12 team in the Utah Utes.  Bailey Brewer went the distance in the pitching circle, striking out six, walking two and scattering seven hits for the victory.  Hopkins and Erin Jones had two hits each, while Chelsea Venable and Megan Fincher each hit solo home runs.  The homers came on back to back shots in the sixth inning after Utah had pulled into a 4-all tie. The win enabled Nevada to complete a 3-2 weekend, while Utah went 2-3.

Nebraska 11, New Mexico 0 (5 innings) -- The Lobos lost via the run rule for the third consecutive game, this time falling to the Huskers at the Hotel Encanto Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M.  The tone for the game was set when New Mexico committed infield errors on the first two plays, and Nebraska took advantage immediately with a 3-run home run.  The Huskers scored in four of the game's five innings and were never threatened.  UNM was held to two hits in the game by winning pitcher Tatum Edwards.

Arizona State 10, Boise State 0 (6 innings) -- The Broncos were no-hit and suffered their second run-rule defeat of the day, falling to the No. 4/4 Sun Devils in Tempe.  Arizona State, playing on its home field in the Kajikawa Classic, got a combined no-hitter from starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo and Alexis Cooper, who worked the final inning.  The Devils pounded Boise State pitching for 17 hits, including eight for extra bases.  Arizona State had six doubles and a pair of home runs as BSU utilized three pitchers. Starter Rebecca Patton picked up the loss, allowing 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in 3 1/3 innings.  Boise State's only base runner in the contest came on a walk with one out in the sixth inning.  It ended a 2-3 weekend for the Broncos, while Arizona State remained the Pac-12's lone unbeaten team (7-0). 

Minnesota 4, UNLV 0 -- Sara Moulton tossed a complete-game 3-hitter and the Rebels were shut out at home in the final game of their Kick-Off Classic in Las Vegas.  It was a scoreless game until the sixth inning when Minnesota scored all four of its runs.  Stefany Valentino took the loss in relief after entering in place of starter Amanda Oliveto.  UNLV completed a 2-3 weekend under new coach Lisa Dodd.  The Rebels had an up and down weekend with a little bit of everything: a Top 25 win, a pair of run-rule victories, a run-rule loss, and two shutout losses.

New Mexico State 3, New Mexico 0 -- Their seventh game of the weekend ended like the previous six for the Lobos:  with a loss.  New Mexico was shut out for the fourth time this weekend and the second time today in falling to its in-state rival in Las Cruces.  Freshman pitcher Lisa Rodrigues went the distance and allowed six hits, but received no run support. It's been a continuing frustration for UNM, which was outscored 45-4 this weekend. Chelsea Anaya and Mariah Rimmer had two hits each to lead the Lobos' 5-hit attack.  New Mexico is 0-7 one year after beginning the 2012 season on a torrid 9-0 start.  The Lobos didn't lose their seventh game of the season last year until March 30.