Sunday, March 15, 2015

SUNDAY: Non-conference play concludes for most MW teams

Teams said goodbye to the non-conference season Sunday and braced for upcoming Mountain West play, which begins this week.  Some went out with a bang and picked up a quality win, while others floundered.  And while a few non-conference games still remain to be played here and there, the overwhelming majority of them are now behind us.  Let's take a look at Sunday's results.

Closing out a 4-1 weekend, Fresno State bounced back from a narrow loss to 16th-ranked Minnesota with a decisive 4-1 victory over Cal Poly.  The Bulldogs pounded out 11 hits and got a complete-game 5-hitter from Jill Compton, who earned her 11th win.  Brenna Moss moved her batting average to a staggering .500 with two more hits before being intentionally walked, a move that backfired on the Mustangs (14-16).  Malia Rivers had three hits and Michelle Solomon and Katie Castellon had two apiece as Fresno State improved to a Mountain West-best 19-10 overall ... New Mexico completed a busy 4-3 weekend with a 3-1 victory over Wisconsin (13-13) in Charleston, S.C.  Krissy Fortner earned the start and got the win, the 16th of the season for the Lobos against 12 losses.  The 16 wins matched UNM's 2014 season total when the team went 16-36 ... San Jose State suffered its worst loss of the season, falling 14-0 in five innings to New Mexico State to complete the San Diego Classic II.  The Spartans had just two hits -- both singles -- and gave up three early home runs as they lost their fifth run-rule game this year.  NMSU's Fiana Finau hit 3-run homers in both the first and second innings, and Kelsey Dodd hit a grand slam in the fourth as the Aggies (18-9) had 13 hits ... UNLV, with its top two pitchers sidelined again, took on 15th-ranked Baylor and suffered another shutout loss.  Baylor (19-6) won 8-0 in five innings and UNLV's scoreless streak has now reached 25 consecutive innings.  The Rebels had just three hits and were never in this one.  UNLV scored in the first inning of its first game on Friday morning vs. UConn, but never scored again during the weekend tournament and finished 0-4 ... Utah State completed its run in San Diego with a 1-0 win over Harvard (3-9).  A fielder's choice in the fourth inning scored the game's lone run and USU may have caught a break in the sixth.  Harvard got a leadoff single followed by a ground-rule double that prevented the tying run from scoring.  With one out, the Crimson tried to score on a wild pitch from Noelle Johnson, but the runner was ruled out at home.  Johnson allowed six hits in a complete-game win ... In Reno, Nevada picked up an 8-2 victory over St. Mary's for a second win this weekend over the Gaels.  It marked the Wolf Pack's fifth consecutive win at home and completed a 4-0 week.  St. Mary's (9-18) committed four errors leading to four unearned runs and the Pack got two hits apiece from Jasmine Jenkins, Megan Sweet and Ashley Butera ... Colorado State split a pair, beginning the day with a 10-2 win over Iona College (2-9) to run its winning streak to 11 straight.  With 10 of those 11 victories coming against teams with losing records, it would prove interesting to see how the Rams would fare in the nightcap, facing their first opponent in 14 days to possess a winning overall record.  Colorado State saw its streak come to an end with a 6-2 loss to Cal State Northridge as Holly Reinke took the loss.  The Matadors, who lost to Fresno State earlier this season, improved to 21-8 ... A rough weekend came to a merciful end for Boise State, which was swept in a doubleheader at Cal State Bakersfield.  The Roadrunners won the opener 4-1 and the nightcap 9-1 in five innings as the Broncos lost for the seventh straight time.  Boise State will enter Mountain West play this week with an 8-22 record, matching their total number of losses for the entire 2014 season.  The Broncos, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games, gave up 20 hits in 12 innings to Cal State Bakersfield (11-12).