Thursday, May 9, 2013

Aztecs clinch automatic NCAA bid

By virtue of Thursday's results, there will not be much drama as the rest of the weekend continues in Mountain West action.

Once San Diego State defeated UNLV Thursday, the race for that coveted automatic NCAA Tournament berth was over.  All that remains to be answered is whether the Aztecs will now win the Mountain West championship outright.

San Diego State 5, UNLV 1

In a tight pitcher's duel where each team finished with four hits, Lorena Bauer came up big in her final two at-bats of the night for San Diego State.

Locked in a 0-0 game where neither team had a hit entering the bottom of the fourth inning, a UNLV error opened the door.  With two runners on base in the fourth following a walk by Rebels pitcher Amanda Oliveto and the aforementioned error, Bauer hit an RBI double.  It was San Diego State's first hit of the game, and Kristin May followed with a 2-run single.

In the sixth, after the Rebels trimmed the lead to a run, Bauer hit a 2-run homer for the final margin.  Rebecca Arbino scattered four hits for the victory, while Oliveto allowed four hits in defeat.  The win moved San Diego State to 11-5 in conference play and -- at worst -- clinched a tie for first place with Fresno State.  With the Aztecs now holding every possible tiebreaker, they clinched the Mountain West's automatic NCAA bid.

A win Friday over UNLV, in a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network, would give San Diego State the outright Mountain West regular-season championship.

Colorado State 3, New Mexico 2

In Albuquerque, the Rams sent the Lobos to an eighth straight conference loss.

After getting down 3-0, New Mexico's late rally fell short despite a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh.  UNM out-hit the Rams 10 to seven in the game.

Kacie McCarthy went 5 2/3 innings to grab the win, while Molly Randle picked up the save.  A 2-run homer by Naomi Tellez off Randle in the seventh accounted for UNM's runs.  CSU got back to back RBI doubles from Chelsea Biglow and Danielle Wikre in the third and an Emily Pohl RBI single in the fifth.

Boise State 10, Nevada 2 (5 innings)

A 7-run third inning uprising was the difference in this one as Boise State routed Nevada early Thursday afternoon, ensuring the Wolf Pack couldn't capture the MW title.

Makenna Weir had a double and three RBI, while Jordan Kreiger had a pair of singles for the Broncos.  Starter Rebecca Patton gave up seven hits in 3+ innings but still captured the win.  Lela Work pitched the final two frames for Boise State, allowing just a hit.

Nevada left the bases loaded in two of the first four innings.  Karley Hopkins and Sara Parsons each had two hits for the Wolf Pack.  Megan Dortch started and took the loss, allowing five earned runs.  Though she allowed just three hits, Dortch walked six in 2+ innings.