Friday, March 8, 2013

Rain cancels marquee games vs. Top 25 powers

Five Mountain West softball teams were set to play a total of 10 games at four different sites Friday, highlighted by continued action at the Fresno State Classic.  But rain became the story of the day.

Host Fresno State and San Diego State were both set to meet 9th-ranked Oregon today, while the Bulldogs were supposed to face both the Ducks and 23rd-ranked Oregon State as well.  Fresno State was set to be the first Mountain West team this season to face two Top 25 opponents on the same day.  While San Diego State managed to get its game with Oregon in, the Bulldogs couldn't.  Heavy rain began to fall early in the Fresno State-Oregon game, and 90 minutes later, both games between the Bulldogs and their ranked Pac-12 opponents were canceled.

Nevada began play in the Cal Poly tourney in San Luis Obispo, while New Mexico was in Seattle at the Husky Classic.  Like Fresno State, UNLV was a victim of Mother Nature at the Long Beach State Invitational, though the Rebels managed to get one of two games in.

Friday's results:

San Diego State 7, Iowa State 4 (9 innings) -- In a wild, marathon of a game, the Aztecs got a walk-off, grand slam from Kayla Jordan with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind and defeat Iowa State at the Fresno State Classic.  This was a pitcher's duel into the seventh inning and it appeared as though San Diego State's Rebecca Arbino would throw a no-hitter and get a 1-0 win.  Iowa State's first hit of the game came when Arbino was two outs away from a complete-game no-hitter.  Cyclones starting pitcher Tori Torrescano hit a solo home run in the seventh to not only end Arbino's no-hit bid, but tie the game.  The teams went to extra innings tied 1-1 when the international tiebreak rule went into effect.  Iowa State took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth, only to see San Diego State tie it 2-2 in the bottom of the inning. Down to their last out, the Aztecs tied it on Kamerin May's RBI single.  In the top of the ninth, Torrescano hit her second home run of the game -- a 2-run shot -- that put the Cyclones back in front 4-2.  Arbino, who finished with a career-high 15 strikeouts in the contest, got out of a major jam in that top of the ninth, forcing Iowa State to strand runners at second and third base.  It would prove pivotal in the bottom of the frame.  After Kristin May hit an RBI double to score the placed runner and cut Iowa State's lead to 4-3, a strikeout by Torrescano meant the Cyclones were two outs from the win.  Iowa State then made an odd coaching move, pulling Torrescano and replacing her with sophomore pitcher Madison Jones, who had thrown just two innings all season prior to Friday.  The move backfired as Jones was unable to record an out.  She walked freshman Victoria Kobold to load the bases just prior to Jordan's grand slam, her fourth home run of the season.  It was the second walk-off loss in as many days for Iowa State to a Mountain West team after Fresno State did it on Thursday.  The Cyclones were playing their third game in less than 20 hours, while San Diego State was playing its tourney opener.

No. 8/9 Oregon 3, San Diego State 2 -- The Ducks turned in a perfectly-executed squeeze play to defeat the Aztecs at the Fresno State Classic.  With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and a runner at third base in a tie game, Courtney Ceo laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line as Oregon prevailed.  The Ducks had 10 hits in the contest to the Aztecs' three, but Oregon was continually frustrated by Aztecs freshman pitcher Danielle O'Toole, stranding numerous base runners.  The Ducks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then watched San Diego State tie it thanks to some wildness from Oregon freshman pitcher Cheridan Hawkins.  In the third, Hawkins walked three batters before Kamerin May delivered the game-tying hit.  May's 2-run single was San Diego State's first hit of the game.  Jessica Moore threw the final 4 1/3 innings for Oregon, allowing just one hit as the Aztecs fell to the Ducks for the second time this season.  O'Toole went the distance and saw her record fall to 4-5, while Oregon moved to 20-3 overall with its 13th straight win.

Nevada 8, Northern Illinois 3 -- Junior pitcher Karlyn Jones tossed a complete-game, 5-hitter as the Wolf Pack defeated the Huskies in San Luis Obispo Friday.  The Wolf Pack jumped on NIU for five runs in the top of the second inning to erase an early 2-1 deficit and never looked back.  Sara Parsons went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI to lead Nevada's 9-hit attack.  Ashley Butera had a pair of hits and an RBI, and the Pack took advantage of a pair of Northern Illinois errors.  Jones struck out nine, walked just two, and allowed only one extra-base hit in the game.  Nevada improved to 10-11 with the win in its opening game of the tournament, while the Huskies fell to 6-8.

New Mexico 7, Bradley 1 -- The Lobos opened up play at the Husky Classic in Seattle by defeating the Braves for the second time this season.  Pitcher Kaela DeBroeck went the distance for the win, scattering six hits, striking out five and walking two.  Sheryl Guillermo's two hits led UNM, which got triples from both Chelsea Anaya and Kaity Ingram.  Freshman Naomi Tellez hit a 2-run home run in the first inning and the Lobos never trailed.  New Mexico improved to 12-12, while Bradley dropped to 11-10, including 1-3 versus the Mountain West this season.

New Mexico 2, Seattle U. 0 -- At the Husky Classic, the Lobos got three hits from freshman Mariah Rimmer in a win over the Redhawks.  New Mexico scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth on a Seattle error to go in front 1-0, and scored on a Rimmer RBI single in the fifth.  The Lobos had seven hits to four for Seattle, which has been predicted to finish last in the WAC in its first year in that conference.  Freshman pitcher Lauren Soles went the first five innings, allowing only one hit.  Carrie Sheehan allowed three hits in the final two innings, including two in the seventh when Seattle had a runner thrown out at the plate to end the game.  UNM moved back over .500 at 13-12, while Seattle dropped to 6-11.

North Dakota State 1, UNLV 0 (9 innings) -- In Long Beach, the Bison prevailed over the Rebels in a classic pitcher's duel.  Junior pitcher Amanda Oliveto allowed just two hits in a complete-game effort and struck out 10, but it wasn't enough against North Dakota State ace Whitney Johnson as the game was decided via the international tiebreak rule.  Johnson threw a complete-game, 2-hitter of her own and the Rebels were unable to score in the eighth inning when they had the bases loaded with just one out.  Oliveto gave up a 1-out, RBI single to Jenina Ortega in the top of the ninth for the game's lone run.  In the bottom of the ninth, Tayler Aleman (who had been placed at second base on the ITB rule) was tagged out on a 1-out steal attempt.  UNLV lost for the 11th time in its last 13 games, while North Dakota State improved to 8-10 on the season.

Sacramento State 9, Nevada 7 -- In San Luis Obispo, Nevada erased a 7-run deficit, only to see the Hornets pull away again for the victory.  Sacramento State scored seven runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead, but the Wolf Pack responded with a 3-run third inning and a 4-run fourth to tie it.  Middle reliever Bailey Brewer took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in three innings of work.  The Hornets had 12 hits to Nevada's nine, but the Pack got home runs from Butera and Parsons.  Nevada fell to 10-12, while Sacramento State improved to 10-5.

Fresno State vs. No. 8/9 Oregon, rained out -- The Bulldogs' home game against the Top 10-ranked Oregon Ducks was officially canceled by rain and will not be resumed this weekend.  The game was in the bottom of the second inning when the rains began falling.  After a more than 90-minute delay and the tarp coming on, going off, and coming back on the field again, the game was officially canceled.

Fresno State vs. No. 23 Oregon State, rained out -- The scheduled game between Fresno State and the 23rd-ranked Beavers was canceled by rain. No makeup date or time has been announced.  The much-anticipated game was to match Oregon State head coach Laura Berg, the Fresno State 4-time first team All-American, against her former team.

UNLV vs. UC Santa Barbara, rained out -- The scheduled game in Long Beach between UNLV and the Gauchos was canceled by rain and will not be made up.