Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fresno State follows up win over Texas with a huge win over Stanford


A day after defeating 25th-ranked Texas at the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Fresno State proved it was no fluke with a 16-hit, 4-home run pounding of Stanford on Saturday.

The 13-8 win over the Cardinal, who are receiving enough votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll to rank 26th and just on the cusp of the Top 25, was stunning in its power.  Fresno State had a season-high in hits as seven Bulldogs had multi-hit games, senior center fielder Brenna Moss broke the school career record for stolen bases, and three Bulldogs hit homers back to back to back in one inning.

Fresno State got off on the right foot in the top of the first inning when it took a 3-0 lead.  In the frame, Moss led off the game with a walk and stole the 86th base of her career to tie the school record.  Malia Rivers walked and Michelle Solomon hit a run-scoring single.

The Bulldogs increased their lead to 5-0 in the third.  Solomon smacked the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left-center for her third home run of the season.  Alyssa Villalpando singled another run home later.  After Stanford cut the margin to 5-2 on two unearned runs due to a 2-out Bulldog error, Fresno State answered right back.

Moss and Rivers singled, and both scored on a Kierra Willis double in the fourth.  In that inning, Moss broke the school record for career stolen bases with her 87th.  Later in the sixth inning, Villalpando and Bria Kennedy had hits to highlight another 3-run barrage, but the real fireworks were saved for the seventh as the Bulldogs stormed to an 8-run lead.

Fresno State hit back to back to back home runs as Willis, Paige Gumz and Villalpando all went deep with homers in three consecutive at-bats.  A seventh inning error on defense by the Bulldogs allowed three late runs, turning a 13-5 game into a 13-8 final.  Lost in all the hoopla was a standout performance from pitcher Jill Compton.

Compton pitched six innings and allowed no earned runs, scattering nine hits.  Defensive miscues by Fresno State kept Stanford in it for awhile as all five runs Compton allowed were unearned.  The 13 runs scored by the Bulldogs were their most against Stanford in a 29-game series that dates to the 1982 season.  The 5-run victory also marks the largest winning margin for Fresno State ever against the Cardinal.  The Bulldogs lead the all-time series with Stanford 16-13.

Moss, Rivers, Solomon, Willis, Gumz and Kennedy all had two hits.  Villalpando, who's been on a tear of late, had three, along with two RBI. Solomon finished with two RBI, while Willis had three.

Fresno State's wins over Texas and Stanford this weekend are the only two wins by Mountain West teams this week over teams with current winning records.  Stanford (9-5), which owns a victory over No. 3 Alabama already this season, was coming off an earlier win over Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs' next opponent Sunday in Palm Springs at 1:30 pm.

Kentucky 5, San Diego State 2 - Sydnee Cable got the first pitching start of her college career and took the loss, despite throwing well.  Erica Romero came on in relief but the Wildcats scored the game's final five runs to erase an early 2-0 deficit.  Kentucky (11-3), ranked 9th and 11th this week in the two major polls, bounced back from a loss to Oklahoma earlier in the day.  San Diego State lost a fourth consecutive game in the tournament and fell to 7-6 on the season.

San Jose St. 4, Illinois-Chicago 3 (8 innings) - The Spartans rallied for a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie it and force extra innings, and then scored a run in the eighth with the international tiebreak rule in effect to knock off the Flames (3-4) a second straight day.  Jessica Madrid had four hits and Madison Fish earned the pitching win in relief.

New Mexico 12, Illinois 4 - A day after losing to the Fighting Illini 12-4, the Lobos reversed it completely with a rout of Illinois (5-8) at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.  It was the second win over a Big Ten team in as many weekends for UNM.  Mariah Rimmer and Lisa Rodrigues hit home runs to lead the Lobos.

Colorado State 10, Indiana State 6 - The Rams spotted the Sycamores (2-6) the first five runs of the game before rallying with 10 runs of their own to pick up the win in Tempe.

UC Riverside 4, Utah State 3 (8 innings) - The Aggies lost a heartbreaker, falling to the Highlanders (9-4) in extra innings when they were on the verge of winning in the seventh.

Also:

U. San Diego 4, Utah State 3
New Mexico St. 7, Colorado State 3
Maryland 5, UNLV 2
Oregon State 6, Nevada 4
Minnesota 8, Boise State 4