Sunday, May 5, 2013

Aztecs sweep Rams; Compton again powers 'Dogs

San Diego State rebounded from a loss to Colorado State Saturday and swept a doubleheader from the Rams Sunday to move alone into first place in the Mountain West.  Fresno State got a third straight shutout and a career-high in strikeouts from freshman Jill Compton to sweep its series with New Mexico.  And UNLV shut out Boise State on a day both the Rebels and the Broncos were eliminated from the conference championship picture.

San Diego St. 12-4, Colorado St. 4-0

The Aztecs had a big offensive game in the opener and then got a strong pitching performance in the nightcap to beat the Rams twice.

San Diego State had five home runs in Sunday's first game, and Kristin May had a pair of them to finish with five RBI in a 12-4 (six innings) win.  In the nightcap, senior Rebecca Arbino rebounded from two straight losses in conference play to throw a complete-game 2-hitter in a 4-0 win.

Patrice Jackson hit her MW-leading 16th homer of the season in game one, while Kayla Jordan and Katie Mathis also went deep.  San Diego State out-hit CSU 11 to seven.  Jackson and Jordan finished with three RBI each, and Jordan had three hits.

San Diego State freshman Danielle O'Toole got the win, scattering seven hits.  Colorado State's Shae Rodriguez was the hitting star for the Rams with a home run, two hits, and all four RBI against O'Toole.  The Aztecs made the most of their hits, stranding just one runner in the game.

Kacie McCarthy took the loss in both games, ending her 4-year career with consecutive home losses.  In the process, CSU's Mountain West title hopes took a huge hit.  The Rams (8-7) must now sweep a 3-game series in Albuquerque next week in order to tie Fresno State (11-7), which has already completed its conference season. Nevada also has a chance to reach 11-7 with a sweep next week, and San Diego State needs two wins against UNLV to claim the MW title.

Arbino allowed two hits and struck out four in the nightcap.  Jackson, Mathis and Kamerin May all had doubles as the Aztecs had seven hits in game two.  Each team left four runners aboard.

Fresno State 4, New Mexico 0

Freshman Jill Compton's standout pitching continued with a 2-hit shutout and a career-high 12 strikeouts.  It was her third consecutive complete-game shutout in Mountain West play as the Bulldogs swept visiting New Mexico.

Compton, who fired a 1-hit shutout on Friday, tossed her second complete-game shutout of the weekend and has now thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings in Mountain West action.  Of Compton's last six wins in conference play, an astonishing five have been shutouts.  It was the freshman's seventh shutout of the season as the Lobos had trouble mustering any offense.

In 14 innings against New Mexico this weekend, Compton allowed just three hits, none for extra bases.  Fresno State's Vonnie Martin remained hot, extending her Mountain West-leading hitting streak to 13 games. Martin got Sunday's scoring started with a first inning RBI, later adding a single and a walk and finishing with a .625 average for the series.

The Bulldogs used their speed to massive success again, setting a school single-game record with eight stolen bases in the contest and finishing with 17 in the series.  Fresno State now has 85 stolen bases for the season, two shy of tying the all-time Mountain West record in a season.

Brenna Moss stole her school-record 32nd of the year, while Diane Runge added two, and Michelle Solomon, Maria Sio and Kapri Angotti had one each.  Solomon, Sio and Stesha Brazil had two hits apiece as Fresno State pounded out 10 hits against three Lobos pitchers.

New Mexico's Kaela DeBroeck took the loss.  Fresno State moved into sole possession of second place in the Mountain West and finished 11-7 in conference play.  The Bulldogs can win the MW championship outright if UNLV sweeps San Diego State next week, and if Nevada and Colorado State do not sweep their respective series.

It was Fresno State's 30th win of the season, marking the 32nd consecutive year the Bulldogs have won 30 or more games in the sport of softball.  The Lobos, meanwhile, are guaranteed to finish in last place in the Mountain West again after falling to 3-12.

UNLV 5, Boise State 0

The Rebels got a complete-game shutout from junior pitcher Amanda Oliveto to defeat the Broncos in Las Vegas.

Both teams remained alive in the Mountain West title race until Fresno State's win over New Mexico went final.  With the Bulldogs improving to 11-7 and completing their conference season, both Boise State and UNLV were eliminated from title contention.

The Broncos and Rebels are both 7-8 with one conference series remaining.  Each can play spoiler next weekend though.  A sweep by UNLV in San Diego will prevent the Aztecs from winning the Mountain West crown.  Likewise, Boise State can ensure that Nevada doesn't tie for the league championship by beating the Wolf Pack at least once in Boise.

Oliveto scattered four hits to grab the win after Boise State took the first two games of this series.

UNLV scored all of the runs it would need in the third inning with the help of a crucial Broncos error.  An infield pop up behind the circle caused some miscommunication as a pair of Broncos collided, and second baseman Jordan Kreiger was charged with an error.  With two outs, the Rebels made Boise State pay.

Senior Heather Harrison, in her final home game, launched a grand slam following the error to put UNLV up 4-0 and that was all Oliveto would need.  Senior Tayler Aleman later added the 33rd home run of her career -- a solo shot.

Katie Uriarte and Tayler Van Acker had two hits for the Rebels.  Boise State got two from Holly Bourke.  Kenzie Cole took the complete-game loss, despite allowing just one earned run.  Olvieto struck out four and walked three.