Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fresno State offense roars again in 2 more routs; Aztecs snap losing skid

The weekend concluded with 12 games featuring Mountain West teams Sunday on getaway day.  Fresno State completed one of the more impressive weekends in Mountain West softball history with a 4-1 record at the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs.  The Bulldogs pounded out 47 runs on 63 hits, including 24 runs and 28 hits today alone, in dismantling two Big XII teams (Texas and Oklahoma State), a Pac-12 team in Stanford, and Loyola-Marymount of the West Coast Conference.

Also today, San Diego State and Utah State broke lengthy losing streaks and came up with wins.  UNLV picked up a pair of victories, and New Mexico capped a winning weekend in Houston.

Sunday's results:

Fresno State 16, Oklahoma State 4 - How did the Bulldogs follow up their eight runs in a win over Texas and their 13 runs and 16 hits in Saturday's win over Stanford?  With a staggering 16 runs and 20 hits in a rout of the Cowgirls from the Big XII Conference.  Fresno State's offense continued an amazing onslaught that revved up in earnest a week ago.  The Bulldogs' 1 thru 7 hitters in the lineup all finished with multiple hits for a second consecutive game, combining to go 19-for-31 (.613) with 12 RBI and 13 runs scored.  Bria Kennedy had a career-high four hits, including two doubles and an RBI.  Alyssa Villalpando and Kierra Willis continued their hot streaks with three hits apiece, five combined RBI and home runs for both in consecutive games.  Brenna Moss, Malia Rivers and Michelle Solomon all had two hits, while Jill Compton got the complete-game win, scattering seven hits and striking out four.  The 16 total runs, 20 hits, and 10 runs in one inning were each the most the Cowgirls have given up this season in their respective categories.

Fresno State 8, Loyola Marymount 0 (5 innings) - Hannah Harris (4-0) pitched a complete-game shutout and the Bulldogs erupted with another of what's become their signature huge innings.  Fresno State scored six times in the fifth inning to win going away in a rout.  The first two batters of the fifth - Willis and Paige Gumz - walked.  Villalpando singled a run home and the Bulldogs loaded the bases again on a walk to Kennedy.  After an RBI by Whitney Smith, it was Rivers who cleared the bases with a hit to the outfield that was misplayed for an error, and the bases were cleared.  Harris retired the side in the bottom of the frame and the Bulldogs had outscored their opponents 24-4 for the day.  Six Bulldogs completed the Mary Nutter Classic hitting .400 or better, including Willis, Villalpando and Rivers, who hit .563, .550 and .526, respectively.  Moss raised her overall batting average this season to .472.  

San Diego State 11, Stanford 5 - The Aztecs snapped their 4-game losing streak with a win over the Cardinal.  A day after Stanford gave up 13 runs and 16 hits to Fresno State, the Aztecs had 12 hits and 11 runs.  Jenavee Peres delivered the biggest blow with a grand slam in the fourth inning after Stanford pitchers issued four walks in the inning. 

Utah State 3, Michigan State 2 - After several heartbreaking defeats and late-inning meltdowns, the tide turned for the Aggies, who snapped a 5-game losing streak.  Noelle Johnson came up with a clutch 2-out, 2-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving Utah State its first and only lead of the game.  In the seventh, the Spartans (8-6) put the tying run on base but were unable to score.  The Aggies improved to 2-12 on the season, with both wins coming over Big Ten teams.

UNLV 18, UC Santa Barbara 10 (5 innings) - In a wild game in Palm Springs, the Rebels lost a 3-run lead before rebounding from a 4-run deficit and run-ruled the Gauchos.  This one featured a slew of mistakes as the two teams combined for eight errors that led to an astonishing 16 unearned runs.  Emily Haslinger hit two home runs and Garie Blando one as UNLV came back from a 9-5 deficit entering the bottom of the fourth.  Blando and Emilie Valadez had four hits apiece to lead the Rebels.  UCSB (3-11) lost its eighth consecutive game.

New Mexico 6, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 2 - The Lobos completed a 4-1 weekend at the Houston Hilton Plaza Classic by defeating the Islanders for the second time.  Jasmine Casados had three hits, including a homer, and three RBI, while Mariah Rimmer had an RBI double.  Also homering against Corpus Christi (2-12-1) was Brandi Heimburg.  Carrie Sheehan earned the complete-game win, striking out three and scattering five hits.  UNM moved a game above .500 at 8-7 overall.

Boise State 7, Indiana State 6 (8 innings) - The Broncos scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning with the international tiebreak rule in effect, and then held on as the Sycamores (2-7) scored two in the bottom of the frame in a wild one in Tempe.  Boise State was up 3-1 for a while in this one before Indiana State tied it.  The Broncos went ahead 4-3 in the top of the seventh on a solo homer by Kayla Clausen, but ISU tied it with two outs in the bottom of the inning.  Three runs, aided by a Sycamores error in the eighth, won it for Boise State, which concluded a 1-4 weekend.

UNLV 3, Cal Poly 0 - Samantha Juarez had a 2-run double in the top of the first inning against Cal Poly starter Lindsey Chalmers and that was all the duo of Kwyn Cooper and Morgan Ettinger would need.  Ettinger closed it out, going the last four innings allowing three hits after Cooper pitched the first three frames.  UNLV had seven hits to five for the Mustangs (7-8).

Minnesota 8, Colorado State 5 - The Rams lost a heartbreaker in Tempe when Minnesota rallied for a late win.  Things started out well for Colorado State against a Gophers team that started Nikki Anderson in the circle and replaced her with sophomore Hannah Evavold, who had never pitched in a collegiate game until entering in the second inning.  Evavold was gone -- without recording an out -- after giving up a wild pitch, two walks (one of which forced in a run) and a 2-run single to freshman Savannah Clark.  Colorado State was in front 5-1 before the Gophers turned to Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Sara Groenewegen, who shut down the Rams from that point.  Minnesota (13-1) rallied for seven straight runs, including three in the seventh on a single and outfield error.

San Jose St. 7, Seattle U. 5 - In Santa Clara, the Spartans fought back from a 3-0 deficit to pick up the Mountain West's fourth win in three weeks over the Redhawks (5-9).  It was San Jose State's second win this season over Seattle.  Emma Entzminger's double accounted for the Spartans' only extra-base hit on a day where they hit nine singles.  The Redhawks' four errors were costly and the difference in the game.  Six of the Spartans' seven runs were unearned.  Madison Fish got the win and Allison Lang the one-out save as she induced a groundout to end the game when Seattle had the tying run at the plate.

Syracuse 6, Nevada 0 - In Palm Springs, the Wolf Pack were shut out by the Orange and had five hits.  Danille Wiltz led Nevada with a pair of hits and both teams stranded 11 base runners apiece.

Cal State Fullerton 9, Nevada 1 (5 innings) - The Titans got some revenge for an earlier loss this season to the Wolf Pack with a victory in Palm Springs.  Cal State Fullerton (8-6) smacked a grand slam in the third to go up 9-0 and basically put the game away.  Nevada freshman Chase Redington started and took the loss, and the Pack went 0-5 at the Mary Nutter Classic, getting outscored 36-8 along the way.