Sunday, March 3, 2013

Boise State, Fresno State lone Sunday winners

Nine games involving Mountain West softball teams took place Sunday as tournament play concluded for everyone.  Nationally-ranked, Pac-12 opponents were on the docket for Colorado State, New Mexico and San Diego State, but all three Mountain West teams went down to defeat.

At the end of the day, only two Mountain West teams emerged victorious.  Boise State moved to 9-10 overall as Utah State's disastrous season continued to get worse.  And Fresno State became the first team in the conference to reach 13 wins by knocking off San Diego on the road.  The Bulldogs won three of five games at the San Diego Classic I, and were the only team in the conference to achieve a winning record for the weekend.

Sunday's recaps:

Boise State 2, Utah State 0 -- Devon Bridges hit a 2-run home run in the sixth inning to send reeling Utah State to an 0-20 start to the season. It was Utah State's school-record, 24th consecutive loss as the Aggies have lost 31 of their past 34 games dating to the 2012 season.  Neither team had much offense as Utah State was out-hitting the Broncos three to two entering the sixth.  USU head coach Carissa Kalaba brought in pitcher Mandy Harmon (0-13) to start that sixth inning, and Harmon allowed a 4-pitch walk before Bridges' blast.  Both teams finished with three hits. Kenzie Cole got the complete-game win for Boise State with her first career shutout.

Fresno State 8, San Diego 1 -- In San Diego, the Bulldogs routed the Toreros on USD's home field.  Fresno State pounded out 12 hits and got a strong pitching outing from freshman Taylor Langdon, who improved her record to 5-1 and lowered her ERA to 1.73.  Freshman Whitney Smith had a pair of hits, including a 2-run single in the fourth inning. Stesha Brazil added a pair of hits, including a double, and two RBI.  Michelle Solomon had an RBI double, giving her six RBI over the past two days.  Junior Kapri Angotti, who got her first two starts of the season Sunday, had a pair of hits, as did Diane Runge.  Brenna Moss had a hit, scored three runs and joined Runge with two steals in the game. Moss has now stolen 17 bases in 18 attempts.  Langdon scattered six hits and had a shutout going until the fifth.  USD fell to 7-10 overall.

Long Beach State 8, Fresno State 0 (6 innings) -- Former Big West Pitcher of the Year Erin Jones-Wesley no-hit the Bulldogs in a run-rule rout in San Diego.  Jones-Wesley struck out nine and walked none as the 49ers improved to a perfect 6-0 this season against the Mountain West, including 4-0 this weekend. Fresno State had three base runners in the contest, two who reached on errors, and one who struck out but reached safely on a passed ball.  Jill Compton was throwing a 2-hitter into the fifth inning before things got away from the Bulldogs.  A key late error allowed three unearned runs.  Long Beach State is 12-6 on the season after its eighth straight win.  All six losses for the 49ers this season have come against either Pac-12 or Top 25-ranked competition.

Southern Utah 9, Nevada 5 -- In consolation play at the Libby Matson Invitational in Stockton, the Thunderbirds snapped a 7-game losing streak to defeat the Wolf Pack.  Southern Utah scored season-highs in both hits and runs, and also had its biggest single inning of the year, pushing six across in the fifth to take command.  Megan Dortch took the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) in 4+ innings.  Ashley Butera had two hits, including a double, and two RBI for Nevada.  Southern Utah is now 3-12 on the season after capturing third place in the 4-team tourney.

Bradley 6, Colorado State 5 -- The Braves scored a run in the top of the seventh inning and defeated the host Rams at the Colorado State Classic.  Bradley had eight hits in the game and the Rams' defensive problems continued with five more errors.  An outfield error by Colorado State to begin the seventh inning proved to be the most costly as a wild pitch with two outs in the seventh allowed the eventual game-winning run to score.  Bradley had taken a 5-1 lead before the Rams rallied with three in the fourth and one run in the fifth to tie it.  Ashlie Ortega had a solo homer for Colorado State.  Bradley improved to 10-9 on the season.

No. 10/12 UCLA 14, New Mexico 3 (5 innings) -- In San Diego, the Bruins scored a pair of touchdowns and held the Lobos to a field goal.  Oops, wrong sport.  Instead, UCLA used a 12-run top of the fourth inning on its way to a run-rule rout of New Mexico.  The Lobos used a trio of pitchers in the fourth inning alone and two failed to record an out as the Bruins rolled.  The 12 runs in the frame were just one shy of the UCLA school record for most runs in an inning.  Lauren Soles took the loss after starting the game and later re-entering.  UNM pitchers Kari Gutierrez and Lisa Rodrigues allowed eight earned runs in the fourth inning without recording an out, while Jessica Hall tossed a complete game for the Bruins.

No. 10/12 UCLA 7, San Diego State 0 -- The Bruins' bats were still hot in game two as they smacked 14 hits en route to a romp over the host Aztecs.  It was UCLA's 56th consecutive win in the series against San Diego State, and the Bruins have now won 63 of 65 all-time meetings.  UCLA had five hits in the fifth inning to snap a scoreless tie and go up 3-0.  In the frame, Stephany LaRosa hit a 2-run home run and B.B. Bates added a triple. A 4-run seventh inning included a pair of doubles and the rout was on.  UCLA had 12 hits against SDSU starter Rebecca Arbino, who went 6 1/3 innings and took the loss.  Freshman Danielle O'Toole gave up a pair of hits and two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning to close it out.  Kayla Jordan had two hits, including a double, for the Aztecs. Ally Carda got the complete-game victory for the Bruins, who improved to 18-2 overall.

No. 18/18 Washington 6, Colorado State 3 -- The Rams had their way early against Washington starting pitcher Bryana Walker, but things changed once Kaitlin Inglesby entered.  The Rams got three solo home runs in the game off Walker and had amassed six hits in just 1 2/3 innings early.   After Ashlie Ortega hit a home run off Walker to tie the game 3-3 with no outs in the fifth inning, Washington coach Heather Tarr turned to Inglesby.  The UW ace retired all nine batters she faced, striking out six, and Colorado State didn't have a base runner the rest of the way.  Meanhile, the Huskies hit back to back home runs in the sixth off 2012 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year Kacie McCarthy (5-6).  Colorado State has lost nine of its last 11 games, while Washington has now won nine straight following a 5-5 start.  Sophomores Danielle Wikre and Brianna Donahue both went deep off Walker in the second inning as CSU took an early 2-0 lead.

New Mexico State 5, UNLV 3 -- The Rebels scored a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as they lost for a second straight day to the Aggies at the Eller Media Stadium Classic in Las Vegas.  New Mexico State committed three errors, including two with two outs in the seventh, allowing UNLV to trim a 4-run deficit to two with a pair of late, unearned runs.  The Rebels' offensive struggles continued for a second day.  After getting just three hits in its previous two games, UNLV was held to five in this one by pitcher Alex Newman of last year's last place WAC finisher. Tayler Aleman hit an RBI double in the first inning, and that was UNLV's only score prior to the pair of Aggies errors in the seventh.  Rebels starting pitcher Amanda Oliveto went the distance, suffering the loss, while allowing 10 hits. UNLV has lost 10 of its last 12 games.