Saturday, March 23, 2013

MW has 8 wins over the Big 12 after Saturday

After the lightest Friday of the season in Mountain West softball, we now have the fewest games played on a Saturday this year.

Only three of the seven Mountain West teams were in action Saturday after the Colorado State Spring Tournament was snowed out for the second consecutive day and New Mexico's home game versus Siena was canceled by wind.  Boise State played a pair in Las Vegas against Texas Tech, while Nevada hosted two games in Reno.  UNLV played a single home game versus Tulsa, while Fresno State and San Diego State continue to have the weekend off.

Texas Tech 3, Boise State 2 -- The Broncos' defense faltered late as the Red Raiders scored three unearned runs and came from behind for a win in Las Vegas.  Boise State took a 1-0 lead in the first when Tara Glover led off with a double and scored on a clutch, 2-out single by freshman Makenna Weir.  Glover and Weir were instrumental in giving Boise State a 2-0 lead in the third inning as well.  Glover led off with a single and ultimately scored on a Weir groundout with the bases loaded.  Unfortunately, Glover's error in center field to begin the fifth inning ended up paving the way for a Tech unearned run to cut the margin to 2-1.  An inning later, a key 2-out error by first baseman Devon Bridges prolonged the frame and the Red Raiders ended up tying the game on an RBI single, and taking their first and only lead on a Lela Work wild pitch.  Work was the tough-luck loser, allowing only four hits and no earned runs in a complete-game effort.

Boise State 4, Texas Tech 2 -- In game two, the Broncos were two outs away from a loss when Bridges came up big.  With one out in the top of the seventh inning, Boise State trailed 2-1 and had no runners on base.  Glover singled and Holly Bourke walked before Bridges hit a dramatic, 3-run home run to left to give Boise State its first and only lead of the contest.  Glover and Mackenzie Whyte had three hits apiece as part of the Broncos' 10-hit attack.  Bridges finished with two hits and all four RBI.  Rebecca Patton scattered six hits, struck out four and walked five to earn the complete-game victory.  Boise State became the fourth different Mountain West team to beat the Red Raiders (26-12) this season, and now fully one-third of Texas Tech's 12 losses have come versus the Mountain West. It was the eighth win by the MW over Big 12 Conference opponents in 2013.

UNLV 10, Tulsa 6 -- In a complete reversal from Tulsa's 13-1 rout of UNLV on Friday, the Rebels had 11 hits in a win over the Golden Hurricane in Las Vegas.  UNLV's win snapped a 12-game winning streak for 18th-ranked Tulsa and provided the Rebels with a Mountain West-best third win over a ranked foe.  Tulsa may have gotten a bit cocky after Friday's win, choosing not to start either of its top two pitchers.  Instead of going with junior Aimee Creger (13-1, 0.84 ERA) or senior Lacey Middlebrooks (10-2, 1.27 ERA), the Golden Hurricane sent freshman Caitlin Sill (2-3, 5.43 ERA) to the circle for her fifth collegiate start.  It didn't work well against a Rebels team led by junior pitcher Amanda Oliveto (12-9). After four innings, Sill was gone and had allowed seven hits and five runs -- all earned -- as TU got down 5-1.  UNLV had four hits in the first inning alone and Pauline Monreal blasted a 3-run home run in the third. Tulsa tried to climb back into it, scoring three times in the fifth and twice in the sixth, but the Rebels matched that both times, scoring three in the fifth and two in the sixth.  Oliveto escaped a seventh inning jam when Tulsa left the bases loaded and brought the tying run to the plate.  Monreal had four RBI, and Tayler Aleman three hits as UNLV added TU to a list of impressive non-conference wins that already includes Louisville and Virginia Tech.

Nevada 10, Santa Clara 0 (5 innings) -- Karlyn Jones allowed only two hits as the Wolf Pack sent hapless Santa Clara (3-22) to a 13th loss in its last 14 games.  This one was no contest as five different Nevada players had two hits and the Pack hit six doubles to go along with a home run from Megan Fincher.  Sara Parsons, Chelsea Barilli, Jasmine Jenkins, Lauren Lastrapes and Megan Sweet all had a pair of hits.  Jones struck out three and didn't walk a batter, and Nevada put up a 7-run fourth inning to blow the game wide open.  Santa Clara has lost 24 of its past 27 games spanning two years. It was Nevada's eighth straight win.

Idaho State 6, Nevada 4 -- In Reno, the Bengals continued to cast a spell over the Wolf Pack, picking up their third straight win this season over Nevada.  Idaho State (11-14), which defeated the Pack in two different tournaments last month, turned the trick again Saturday, snapping Nevada's 8-game winning streak and handing the Pack their first home loss of the year.  Kelsi Ott (3-3) went the distance for the victory for Idaho State, which had 10 hits against Megan Dortch (4-7), who threw a complete game but took the loss.  The Bengals built a 6-0 lead and then had to hang on in the sixth when Nevada scored all four of its runs.  The Pack had four hits -- including doubles by Ashley Butera, Lauren Lastrapes and Megan Sweet -- in the sixth inning, but couldn't get closer.  Of Nevada's six hits in the game, five were doubles and Butera hit a pair.  Four Idaho State players had multi-hit games, and the Bengals hit a home run and turned a pair of double plays in the win.