Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fresno State completes sweep of Boise State

Six of the seven Mountain West teams were in action Sunday.  Fresno State moved closer to the top of the conference standings by completing the weekend's only 3-game sweep, over Boise StateNevada won a 12-inning marathon to pick up a series victory over Colorado State, and UNLV edged New Mexico to win that series in Las Vegas.

Fresno State 3, Boise State 1

Bulldog freshman pitchers Jill Compton and Hannah Harris continued to impress at home, holding Boise State without an earned run again Sunday as Fresno State swept the 3-game series.

Compton got the start and allowed four hits in four innings, with one unearned run, to pick up her 11th win.  Harris came on in relief to begin the fifth, and allowed no runs and four hits to earn the save.

For the weekend, the duo threw 20 2/3 innings without allowing Boise State an earned run.  And while Fresno State has struggled this season on the road, it's been virtually unbeatable at home.  Harris, in particular, has been on fire at home this season, throwing 26 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run at Bulldog Diamond.  An opponent last scored an earned run against her in Fresno on February 20.

Boise State's Rebecca Patton had a strong game as well in the circle, allowing no earned runs herself.  She ran into trouble in the bottom of the first, though, when the Bulldogs scored all the runs they would need with the help of a throwing error from Devon Bridges.

Vonnie Martin continued her big series, getting a 2-out, 2-run hit in the first inning for the second straight game.  This time, Martin belted a double down the line in left, giving her five RBI in the series.  She scored when freshman catcher Paige Gumz continued her monster series with a 2-out, RBI double of her own.

Gumz went 3-for-3 for the second straight day and finished 7-for-9 in the series, reaching base in seven consecutive at-bats.  Gumz had six hits and a walk over the past two days.

Boise State's lone run scored on an error by Fresno State shortstop Maria Sio, whose defensive difficulties this season continued.  Sio has committed errors in all six Bulldog home games in Mountain West play and her 17 miscues this season are tied for the most in the conference.

The Broncos tried to rally in the seventh inning, but were shut down by Harris, who escaped a bases-loaded, 1-out jam.  The freshman got a strikeout and a groundout to end the game as Boise State left the tying run in scoring position.  Bridges and Holly Bourke had two hits for BSU, which stranded 11.

Fresno State improved to 6-3 in Mountain West play, moving within a half-game of idle San Diego State in the race for first place.  Boise State remained in the conference cellar at 1-5.

Nevada 5, Colorado State 4 (12 innings)

The Rams and Wolf Pack went to extra innings for the second straight day in Reno, and Megan Fincher's solo home run with two outs in the 12th won it for Nevada.

Colorado State was sailing along early, leading 3-0 behind a solid pitching performance from Holly Reinke through four innings.  The Rams scored three times in the fourth with the help of a Karley Hopkins error.  Kendal Butterfield's infield single, combined with Hopkins' error, scored a pair of runs.  CSU added a third run in the inning on a sacrifice fly.

Reinke not only had a 3-run lead, but had a no-hitter intact until the fifth. She hit the first batter of that inning, and second baseman Cassy Mosser's error meant two Nevada runners were on base.  Both would score on the Wolf Pack's first hit of the game -- a 1-out triple by pinch hitter Caylin Campbell.

A groundout by Hopkins then tied the game 3-3, and Megan Sweet gave Nevada its first lead of the game with a solo home run, still in the fifth.

With Nevada pitcher Megan Dortch trying to hold the lead in the seventh, Colorado State rallied to tie it.  After Alysa Greckel singled to start the inning, CSU tied it on a wild play.  Haley David pinch-ran for Greckel and was thrown out trying to score on a double by Danielle Wikre.  However, a throwing error by Pack catcher Ashley Butera allowed Wikre to round the bases and tie it.

Both teams had scoring chances in extra innings and left the potential go-ahead run at third base in the ninth.  Nevada also left two on base in the 10th, while Colorado State left two runners aboard in the 11th.

With two outs in the 12th, Fincher homered down the left field line against Kacie McCarthy, who came on in relief to throw the final 7+ innings.  Nevada had eight hits against McCarthy, and Fincher had been 0-for-5 until her late-game heroics.  Sweet, Sara Parsons and Jasmine Jenkins had two hits each for the Pack.  Butterfield's three hits led the Rams, who out-hit Nevada 13 to 10.

Dortch went all 12 innings, scattering those 13 hits, striking out 12, and escaping multiple jams.  Colorado State stranded 16 runners.  The Rams, who entered the weekend alone in first place in the Mountain West, fell into a second-place tie with Fresno State.  Those two face off next week in Fort Collins.  Nevada moved to 4-5 with its first series win as a Mountain West member.

UNLV 1, New Mexico 0

In a game with good pitching and very little offense, the Rebels scored a first inning run and that was it.

Stefany Valentino led off the game with a double for UNLV, and scored on an RBI single by Tayler Van Acker against eventual losing pitcher Kaela DeBroeck.

Rebels junior Amanda Oliveto earned her 15th win with a complete-game 4-hitter and eight strikeouts.  She didn't allow a hit after the third inning and retired the final 10 batters of the game.  DeBroeck gave up just five hits, and only two after the first inning.

Valentino had three of UNLV's five hits.  No New Mexico player had multiple hits in the game.

The Rebels moved to 4-5 in the Mountain West by winning their second straight home series.  New Mexico dropped to 3-6 in the conference.