Thursday, March 12, 2015

THURSDAY: Fresno State sweeps, Aztecs split, Lobos lose 2

Six games took place Thursday in Mountain West softball action as three teams (Fresno State, New Mexico and San Diego State) all played a pair.  The Bulldogs became the first Mountain West team to 17 wins this season, sweeping a pair on Thursday.  San Diego State split two games at home, and the day got underway in the deep south as the Lobos lost twice to Georgia Southern in a neutral-site doubleheader in Charleston, South Carolina.

Fresno State 6, Providence 1 - The Bulldogs opened the Fresno State Classic with a win over the Friars of the Big East Conference as Hannah Harris pitched a complete-game 5-hitter.  The Bulldogs scored four runs in the fifth to snap a 1-1 tie, and pounded out 11 hits on offense in the win.  Brenna Moss, who led the Mountain West in batting average at .488 entering this game, reached base safely in three of four at-bats with a walk, double, and single in three at-bats.  Moss also stole two bases and scored a run.  Malia Rivers had three hits, including a double, and three RBI while also stealing a base.  Freshman Chase LeeHong, making a second consecutive start at first base, had the first 3-hit game of her career, going 3-for-3 with a double in a game where the Bulldogs did not commit an error.  Michelle Solomon hit a double and picked up her team-leading 28th RBI, and Kierra Willis had a double and three RBI.  Providence was coming off an 11-1 (5 innings) run-rule rout of South Dakota State earlier in the day.

Fresno State 1, Pacific 0 - Bulldog pitcher Jill Compton came out on top of an exciting pitcher's duel with Pacific's Dani Bonnet as Fresno State swept a pair Thursday.  Compton allowed only six hits in the shutout, her third straight against teams ranked outside the nation's Top 13.  In her last five starts, only 2nd-ranked Oregon and 8-time NCAA champion Arizona have been able to score against the junior right-hander.  Compton has pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings against St. Mary's, Iowa and now Pacific.  In doing so Thursday, she out-dueled the reigning West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week in Bonnet, who earned the win in Pacific's upset Saturday over 9th-ranked Baylor.  Compton struck out five to pick up her 10th victory of the season, and retired the final seven in a row.  After Fresno State took the lead in the fifth, she did not allow a base runner the rest of the way.  The Bulldogs' run came in the fifth on a 2-out rally.  Solomon got things going with a single and moved to second on a walk to Willis.  Paige Gumz then delivered the game-winning hit with a hard liner to right.  Six different Bulldogs (Moss, Solomon, Gumz, LeeHong, Bria Kennedy and Whitney Smith) had hits in the game.  It was Fresno State's 80th all-time win in a series the Bulldogs control 80-24.

BYU 3, San Diego St. 1 - Cougars pitcher McKenna Bull had little trouble with the Aztecs' offense, pitching a complete-game 2-hitter as San Diego State lost its opening game of the San Diego Classic II.  BYU had seven hits off Erica Romero, who also tossed a complete game, but picked up her sixth loss of the season.  The Cougars snapped a 1-all tie with a pair of runs in the fifth.  A fielder's choice scored the go-ahead run before Sydney Broderick hit a 2-out RBI triple for BYU's third run.  San Diego State scored its only run on one of three Cougars errors in the game.  The recipient of three walks along with those three Cougars errors, SDSU was 0-for-11 with runners on base and 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the game.  BYU won back-to-back games on the opening day of this tourney, edging Long Beach State 2-1 in its opener.

San Diego St. 9, Long Beach St. 3 - Lorena Bauer had a home run and three RBI as the Aztecs bounced back for a split on their home field Thursday against the reeling 49ers, who lost for the eighth consecutive time.  It was San Diego State's second win in five days over Long Beach State, which was predicted to win the Big West in that league's preseason coaches poll.  But the 49ers have fallen on hard times of late.  In addition to losing eight in a row, Long Beach has suffered losses in 10 of its last 11 games and has won just 10 of 28 games this season.  The current 8-game losing streak is the longest for a 49ers softball team in 32 years when the 1983 team lost 12 in a row.  Long Beach started pitcher Lacey Alderman (0-2, 8.93 ERA), who'd tossed just 11 1/3 innings this season and she ended up being the loser after SDSU scored four in the first.  Kayla Bufardeci had two hits and three RBI, while Leia Ruiz had a hit and two RBI.  Romero allowed three earned runs in five innings of work to pick up the win.  

Georgia Southern 4-4, New Mexico 2-2 - The Eagles pulled a surprise with a doubleheader sweep of the Lobos, winning both games by 4-2 scores.  The first game went nine innings as the teams played with the international tiebreak rule in effect.  After both scored a run in the eighth, GSU scored twice in the ninth and then held off the Lobos in the bottom of the frame.  In game two, the Eagles scored two in the third and two more in the sixth to go in front 4-0.  New Mexico scored both of its runs in the seventh.  Mia Hignojos led off with a double and scored on an RBI double by Lisa Rodrigues.  With two outs, Brandi Heimburg's bunt single brought home Rodrigues.  Georgia Southern entered the day having won just four times in 20 previous games this season.  UNM (12-11) got a pair of hits in the nightcap from Rodrigues and Mariah Rimmer.