Friday, February 15, 2013

Three Top 10 powers clip Aztecs, Bulldogs, Pack

Keilani Ricketts, Chelsea Thomas and Jolene Henderson are three of the nation's premier pitchers and they all showed why against Mountain West opponents Friday in tournament action.

Ricketts led No. 1/2 Oklahoma to a 4-0 win over San Diego State Friday evening at the Campbell-Cartier Classic hosted by the Aztecs.  Thomas powered No. 7/8 Missouri to a 4-0 win over Fresno State earlier in the day, and Henderson tossed a 1-hitter as No. 8/9 Cal beat Nevada 5-0.  It was a big day as the Mountain West took on the nation's best, and the Aztecs, Bulldogs and Wolf Pack all played well even in losing efforts in those contests against Top 10 teams.

Those were the three marquee games of 13 involving Mountain West softball teams today.  Elsewhere, Colorado State picked up victories over Big 12 and Big Ten teams, Boise State notched a win over the Big East, New Mexico won its first two games of the year, and UNLV picked up a win.

Friday's results:

#7/8 Missouri 4, Fresno State 0 -- Fresno State sent freshman pitcher Jill Compton up against one of college softball's premier pitchers in two-time First Team All-American senior Chelsea Thomas of Southeastern Conference power Missouri.  The unbeaten Tigers won their second game of the day and snapped the Bulldogs' 4-game winning streak with the win at Gaucho Classic I in Santa Barbara.  Kelsea Roth hit two home runs -- a 2-run shot in the second inning and a solo shot in the sixth -- and Nicole Hudson hit a solo homer in the fourth for the Tigers' only runs.  Compton allowed just six hits in the complete-game effort.  Freshman catcher Paige Gumz and junior first baseman Stesha Brazil had the Bulldogs' two hits in the game versus the All-American Thomas.  Compton (4-2) retired Missouri in order in both the first and third innings as she faced a Top 10-ranked opponent in only her second week of collegiate action.

#1/2 Oklahoma 4, San Diego State 0 -- Like Fresno State against Missouri, this one was a matchup of a freshman pitcher against an All-American as San Diego State's Danielle O'Toole went up against Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts.  The Sooners got nine hits against O'Toole, who went the distance, but Ricketts was her typical self with a shutout.  All three hits by the Aztecs came from the May sisters as Kristin had two and Kamerin added one.  That was it for SDSU as the unbeaten Sooners continued their impressive start to the season.  Oklahoma scored a pair of runs in the first and third innings against O'Toole, who was making only her second start as a collegian.  Her record fell to 0-2.

#8/9 California 5, Nevada 0 -- Jasmin Mejia hit a 3-run home run with two outs in the sixth inning to break open what had been a tight game and the Bears went on for the win at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas.  Cal ace Jolene Henderson was all but untouchable in the game and Nevada was held hitless until freshman Megan Sweet singled to lead off the seventh inning.  Sophomore transfer pitcher Megan Dortch pitched well early, limiting Cal to just one hit before Mejia's blast to left in the sixth.  The Bears (3-2) finished with just four hits.

Boise State 3, Rutgers 1 -- Devon Bridges belted a 3-run home run to left-center in the bottom of the third inning as the Broncos topped the Scarlet Knights at the UTSA Roadrunners Tournament in San Antonio.  Bridges' blast accounted for Boise State's only runs of the day, and pitcher Rebecca Patton (2-1) grabbed the win by tossing a 4-hitter in five innings of action.  Lela Work pitched a pair of hitless innings to earn the save.  The Broncos had four hits in the game against Rutgers, which took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and left the bases loaded.  The Scarlet Knights were playing their season-opening contest, while Boise State snapped a 2-game losing streak.

Colorado State 6, Texas Tech 4 -- Senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy scattered eight hits and struck out 13 to lead the Rams over the Red Raiders at the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces.  Chelsea Biglow, Kendal Butterfield, Ashlie Ortega and Cassy Mosser all had two hits in Colorado State's 9-hit attack.  Ortega had a double and three RBI, while Butterfield had a pair of RBI.  Texas Tech attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh inning and had the potential tying run on base and potential winning run at the plate.  McCarthy fanned her 13th batter of the game, however, to end it.

Colorado State 10, Penn State 2 (5 innings) -- The Rams erupted for seven runs in the first inning on their way to a rout of the Nittany Lions, who were playing their season opener in Las Cruces, NM.  It was a nightmare opening inning of the season for Penn State as nothing went right.  Colorado State scored seven runs on just one hit -- a single -- in the first inning.  There were six walks, five wild pitches and three Nittany Lion errors that led to a disastrous start.  How bad was it?  With no outs in the second inning of its season, Penn State had already used three pitchers.  Both teams had five hits in the game, and CSU's Holly Reinke got the 5-inning win.

UNLV 5, Portland State 2 -- Junior pitcher Amanda Oliveto started her fifth consecutive game for the Rebels and narrowly missed a no-hitter in the win over the Vikings at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas.  Oliveto held Portland State hitless through the game's first 6 2/3 innings before giving up a single, which was immediately followed by a 2-run home run to spoil the shutout bid.  UNLV put all five runs together in the third inning, with the key hit being a 2-run double off the bat of Jaexie Balilea.  Stefany Valentino had three of the Rebels' five hits in the contest, including an RBI double.

San Diego 2, Fresno State 1 -- Brenna Moss and Brooke Ortiz combined for four hits, but the rest of the Bulldog team went 0-for-18 at the plate as the offense struggled all day at the Gaucho Classic I.  Moss tripled to lead off the first inning, and Ortiz singled her home to give Fresno State a quick 1-0 lead in the game.  But that was it.  The Toreros scored twice in the top of the second when Bulldog freshman starter Hannah Harris walked three, including the eventual game-winning run.  Those were the only three walks of the game by either team.  Harris, who was coming off a 1-hitter she threw Wednesday, was pitching in her hometown of Santa Barbara. Freshman Taylor Langdon came on to replace Harris and tossed five scoreless innings.  Moss and Ortiz bunched their hits together again in the third, but Fresno State stranded runners at second and third base.  Jenny Lahitte, a First Team All-Pacific Coast Softball Conference pitcher a year ago, went the distance to pick up the win.  She retired the final 13 Bulldogs in order as Fresno State did not have a base runner after the third inning.

Idaho State 9, Nevada 6 -- The Wolf Pack squandered a 4-run lead and fell for the second time in a week to the Bengals during Friday action at the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas.  Nevada stormed to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a grand slam by Sara Parsons.  The blast by Parsons followed a pair of walks and a Bengals error.  Idaho State rallied for three runs in both the first and second innings to take the lead before the Pack tied it 6-6. The Bengals again responded with a single run in the fifth and two more in the sixth against eventual losing pitcher Karlyn Jones, who entered in relief.  Idaho State, which pounded out 13 hits, has beaten Nevada on consecutive Fridays to begin the season.

Missouri State 6, Boise State 0 -- The Broncos finished with three hits against pitcher Chelsea Jones in a loss to the Bears of the Missouri Valley Conference at the UTSA Roadrunners Classic.  Broncos pitcher Kenzie Cole went the distance, allowing 10 hits, and picked up the loss.  Missouri State broke the game open with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.  The Bears entered the game -- their first in the tourney -- with a 1-4 record.  Boise State hadn't been shut out in a regular season game by an unranked opponent since UNLV did it on February 25, 2011.

New Mexico 11, Hampton 3 (6 innings) -- New Mexico erased a fifth inning deficit and run-ruled the Pirates to win its first game of the season in the Lobo Classic in Albquerque.  It was UNM's first victory following seven consecutive losses to begin the year.  Hampton dropped to 0-6.  The Lobos had scored only four runs in their first seven games combined, but broke out for a 7-run fifth inning and added three more in the sixth to run-rule Hampton.  Nykilah Torres hit a 3-run home run in the sixth inning that invoked the run rule, and New Mexico won despite committing five errors.  Carrie Sheehan was the winning pitcher.

New Mexico 4, Central Michigan 1 -- After winning their first game of the season earlier in the day, the Lobos came back to win their second, defeating the Chippewas at the Lobo Classic in Albuquerque.  Kaela DeBroeck scattered eight hits to earn the complete-game victory and had to survive a shaky seventh when Central Michigan loaded the bases and brought the potential game-winning run to the plate.  UNM had eight hits of its own, with freshman Mariah Rimmer leading the way with a pair of singles and two runs scored.  All eight Lobos hits in the contest were singles.

San Diego State 5, Cal Poly 2 -- In a game that didn't end until almost midnight local time Friday, the host Aztecs prevailed over the Mustangs in a game with a wild finish.  San Diego State scored three runs -- all with two outs in the seventh inning -- to snap a late tie.  With two outs and nobody on base in the top of the seventh inning, San Diego State's Kayla Jordan hit a solo home run that broke a 2-all tie.  From there, it was a Cal Poly meltdown.  A Mustangs error came on the next play, and it was followed by a single and a walk by pitcher Jordan Yates to load the bases.  Patrice Jackson then followed with a 2-run double that ended Yates' night.  Rebecca Arbino got the win, but Danielle O'Toole came on to get the save after the Mustangs had two hits and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh.