Sunday, March 1, 2015

SUNDAY: Fresno State picks up its 14th win with shutout

Just four games took place around the Mountain West softball world on Sunday as the league went 3-1.  Fresno State won for the 5th time in its last 6 games and its 14th overall, picking up a shutout victory.  Colorado State held on for a win and San Jose State split a pair.

Fresno State 1, St. Mary's 0 - While the Bulldogs' high-powered offense has been on display much of this season, Fresno State proved it can win a nailbiting pitcher's duel as well.  Jill Compton tossed a complete-game 4-hit shutout to move into a tie for the conference lead with her eighth victory of the year.  The Bulldogs won in dramatic fashion against the Gaels and pitcher Katie Moss, who pitched a strong game and kept the Bulldogs off-balance nearly all day.  In the bottom of the seventh, Kierra Willis walked to lead things off, and pinch-hitter Taylor Green moved her into scoring position.  After a groundout, Bria Kennedy delivered a clutch, 2-out RBI single to the left side, scoring Willis with the game-winner.  Kennedy reached safely in all three at-bats, walking both previous times she came to the plate on Sunday.  Fresno State won for the fifth time in its last six games, improving to 14-5 overall.

Colorado State 7, Texas-Arlington 6 - The Rams jumped to a big lead and then watched as the Mavericks came back and had the tying run at third base in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Colorado State twice owned 4-run leads in this one, only to see the Mavericks rally.  Leading 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Rams gave up a leadoff walk and three consecutive hits, including a 2-run double.  Holly Reinke, who'd been solid to that point, was replaced by Molly Randle in the circle, and Randle gave up a hit and a walk before getting the final out as the Mavs stranded runners at the corners.  CSU got homers from Jaelyn Manzanares and Taryn Arcares as each team had 12 hits.  Savannah Clark's three hits paced the Rams.

San Jose State 6, Longwood 2 - The Spartans picked up a second win over the Lancers (2-8) in Honolulu.  Jessica Madrid had two hits, including a double, and added an RBI.  Taylor Purdy had two hits and two RBI, while Jessie Hufstetler had a hit and two RBI.  Madison Fish picked up her seventh win of the season against two losses.  While it was the first game of the day for SJSU, the game for Longwood came just minutes after the Lancers fell to 19th-ranked California in an earlier game.

Hawai'i 6, San Jose State 3 - In a game where Rainbow Wahine head coach Bob Coolen was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing a call, that seemed to spark Hawai'i, which broke a tie and went on for the win.  In a disputed interference call that went against the hometown Wahine in the top of the fourth when San Jose State tied the game, UH responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good.  Madrid had three of the Spartans' six hits as SJSU's three through nine batters in the lineup went a combined 1-for-18.  SJSU loaded the bases in the seventh with one out, but were unable to score as Erin Rodriguez popped up and Purdy flew out to right.  Allison Lang took the loss and the Spartans had to settle for a 2-3 weekend with both wins coming over Longwood.

Florida at San Diego State, rained out - In the Aztecs' highest-profile home game of the season and perhaps school history, Mother Nature won out.  Top-ranked and unbeaten Florida (21-0) was slated to play the Aztecs in San Diego Sunday, but rain washed the game out and it will not be made up.  Two other Mountain West teams - Fresno State and San Jose State - will get the chance to knock off the nation's No. 1-ranked team next week when they meet the Gators at the prestigious Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton.