Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lobos, Wolf Pack win twice; Broncos go 0-1-1

It was another light day of action with just three Mountain West softball teams taking the field Sunday.  Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico each played a pair of games.

Tulsa 5, Boise State 2 -- In Las Vegas, the Golden Hurricane jumped on the Broncos early and then had to hold on during a wild seventh inning.  Four batters into the game, Tulsa was already on top 4-0 against eventual losing pitcher Lela Work.  A pair of singles by TU began the game before Samantha Cobb belted a 3-run home run for a quick early lead.  Pitcher Lacey Middlebrooks followed with a second straight home run against Work and it was 4-0 before Boise State had recorded an out.  The Broncos got a run back in the third when Middlebrooks walked Mackenzie Whyte with the bases loaded, but Tulsa responded again.  Cobb, who finished with four RBI, hit a run-scoring double in the fifth to increase the lead to 5-1.  It remained that way until the bottom of the seventh when Boise State tried to rally.  The Broncos got 4-pitch walks to both Devon Bridges and Ashley Palmer, a single by freshman Makenna Weir and an RBI double from Whyte, pushing Tulsa to the limit in the seventh.  Boise State eventually loaded the bases with one out, bringing the potential game-winning run to the plate.  Middlebrooks struck out freshman Kayla Clausen for out number two, and induced Jordan Kreiger to ground into a force out on a 2-0 pitch to end the game. 

New Mexico 13, Siena 5 (5 innings) -- The Lobos found the perfect remedy for their offensive woes of late, routing the Saints in Albuquerque.  After spotting Siena a 5-0 lead after one and a half innings, New Mexico responded with 13 unanswered runs to set a new season-high in that category.  The Lobos had 14 hits -- 13 of them singles -- and scored in every inning from the second through the bottom of the fifth when the run-rule was invoked.  An 8-run second proved to be Siena's undoing.  UNM got a 3-hit, 4 RBI performance from Naomi Tellez, a 4-for-4 game from Jordan Sjostrand, two hits and three RBI from Mia Hignojos, and a pair of hits from Cassandra Kalapsa, who reached base in all four at-bats.  UNM starter Lisa Rodrigues lasted just 1 1/3 innings, but reliver Kaela DeBroeck got the win, allowing only one hit in 3 2/3 innings.  New Mexico had scored more than five runs in a game just once in its last 19 games before meeting the Saints of the MAAC.  Siena allowed 25 runs in its first two games of the weekend.

New Mexico 5, Siena 2 -- The Lobos beat the Saints in game two as they rallied for a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.  Siena held a 2-1 lead entering the sixth, but UNM got a pair of 2-out hits in each of the last two innings for the victory.  Freshman pitcher Lauren Soles allowed four hits to get the complete-game win.  Siena has lost 11 of 16 games this year while UNM, which entered the day having lost eight of its past nine, moved to 16-20.  Hignojos and Courtney Geith had two hits apiece for the Lobos.

Boise State and Tulsa tie 6-6 -- The Broncos and Golden Hurricane finished in a 6-6 tie when a drop-dead time of 2 pm PDT was reached in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Boise State sent Rebecca Patton to the circle against TU's No. 3 pitcher, freshman Caitlin Sill (2-4-1), who lost Saturday's game against UNLV.  The Broncos wasted no time jumping to a 3-run lead in the first when Whyte hit a 2-out, RBI double, and Lela Work then added a 2-run single.  Tulsa responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first, but the Broncos went back on top with two runs in the second on Holly Bourke's 2-run, 2-out home run.  The Golden Hurricane answered back again an inning later with a 2-run home run of their own to tie it and that's how the game remained until the seventh.  Boise State took a 6-5 lead in the top of the frame when Bourke launched another homer, this one a 2-out, solo shot.  Patton was unable to hold the lead in the bottom of the frame as Tulsa tied it, but she did an outstanding job of keeping the game tied.  After allowing three singles and a fielder's choice along with a Broncos error, Tulsa had the score tied and the bases loaded with no outs.  A foul out and consecutive strikeouts maintained the tie and sent the game to extras with the international tie break in effect.  Boise State took a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth and Tulsa was at bat and threatening when the game was called in the bottom of the inning. A fourth Broncos error gave TU runners at the corners with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth when the drop-dead rule was invoked.  It wiped out all eighth inning stats and the score reverted to the last completed inning, the seventh. 

Nevada 6, Idaho State 5 -- The Wolf Pack came up with a big fifth inning rally in Reno to avoid a fourth consecutive loss to the Bengals this season.  Idaho State was up 5-1 entering the fifth inning before the Pack rallied.  Nevada got an RBI double by Megan Sweet with one away, but then got two huge hits with two outs in the frame as Sara Parsons and Jasmine Jenkins both smacked 2-run home runs to give the Pack their first lead.  Karlyn Jones allowed five earned runs and three home runs, but got the complete-game win against a Bengals team that had already won a surprising three games versus Nevada this season.

Nevada 10, Santa Clara 2 (6 innings) -- In Reno, the Wolf Pack handed the Broncos their 10th run-rule loss of the season.  Parsons went deep for the second straight game Sunday, while Karley Hopkins and Megan Fincher also hit home runs in the rout against a Santa Clara team that fell to 0-14 away from home and 3-24 overall.  Hopkins had three hits to lead the Wolf Pack, who became the first Mountain West team to reach 20 wins this season at 20-13 overall.  Megan Dortch scattered seven hits in the victory, Nevada's 10th in its last 11 games.  Santa Clara is now 1-15 in its last 16 games and has been outscored a staggering 179 to 37 this season.  In their current 6-game losing streak, the Broncos have been outscored 49-8.  Five of Nevada's last eight victories have been run-rule wins.