Friday, April 11, 2014

Fresno State rallies past Aztecs into 1st place

In a wild, playoff-style atmosphere in front of a large crowd at Bulldog Diamond, Fresno State roared from behind to knock San Diego State out of first place in the Mountain West standings.

Elsewhere, the three other road teams picked up victories.  New Mexico stunned San Jose State with a late rally of its own, Boise State won a 1-0 thriller at Nevada, and Colorado State stormed to a big lead and held off UNLV.

Fresno State 5, San Diego State 4 - In a battle of first team All-Mountain West sophomore pitchers, Jill Compton came out on top against Danielle O'Toole as the Bulldogs came from a hefty deficit for the win.  With O'Toole pegged to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third, Fresno State began to stage its comeback.  Brenna Moss walked and Brooke Ortiz singled, and Moss came home on one of two errors by Aztecs shortstop Hayley Miles in the game.  A Vonnie Martin sacrifice fly cut SDSU's lead in half at 4-2.  In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with three runs off O'Toole.  Hot-hitting Fresno State freshman Kierra Willis began the inning with a triple, and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Paige Gumz.  An RBI double by Moss scored Gumz to knot the score at 4-4.  Ortiz then reached safely on another Miles error, allowing Moss to plate the eventual game-winning run.  Moss was also key on defense as her throw behind Katie Mathis in the sixth inning caught the infielder too far off third base, putting an end to a key Aztecs threat.  Compton, after early troubles on some bloop hits, settled down and held SDSU in check after the third inning.  She struck out seven and appeared to get stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the seventh when the Aztecs brought up their top three hitters in the lineup, including the dangerous Patrice Jackson.  Moss was 2-for-2 with three stolen bases, and reached base three times against O'Toole, who lost just her fifth game in 25 decisions this season. Compton allowed only four hits and no runs over the game's final 4 1/3 innings to grab her 13th complete-game victory of the year.  Fresno State won for the 40th time in its last 45 home conference games.

Colorado State 7, UNLV 5 - The Rams stormed to a 6-0 lead and chased Rebels starter Amanda Oliveto early.  The Rebels chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting the final margin to two in the seventh inning on an Emily Haslinger home run.  Holly Reinke picked up the complete-game win.

New Mexico 9, San Jose State 4 - The Lobos picked up an improbable win in a game that looked like each was going to win at some point.  San Jose State led 3-0 before the Lobos rallied with two in the top of the seventh for a 4-3 lead.  One out away from a 4-3 win in the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans tied it on a 2-out double.  In the ninth, San Jose State appeared ready to win it, loading the bases with no outs.  A key UNM double play and a fly out ended the threat, however.  In the 10th, New Mexico came up with a 5-run inning thanks to a 3-run home run off the bat of Karissa Haleman.  San Jose State committed a pair of costly errors in two of the innings in which the Lobos scored, including the 10th.  After getting only two hits in each of its previous two games, UNM exploded for 17 today in San Jose.  Carrie Sheehan got the win, and Madison Fish the loss, both in relief.  It was New Mexico's first road win in Mountain West play.

Boise State 1, Nevada 0 - In a tight pitcher's duel between Rebecca Patton and Karlyn Jones, it was Patton who got the shutout.  Tara Glover's solo home run in the fourth ended Jones' no-hit bid and perfect game, and proved to be the lone run of the contest.  Neither team could get its offense going, as the Broncos had four hits to Nevada's three.  The Pack looked like it might tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.  Sara Parsons singled to lead off the frame, but was cut down at home for the final out of the game.  Megan Sweet hit a 2-out double, prompting the call to send Parsons home, but a Nicholson to Kreiger to McCray relay was in time.