Friday, April 24, 2015

Compton & Fresno State roll, while Lobos rally for road upset

It was quite an amazing Friday around Mountain West softball as Fresno State's Jill Compton continued her spectacular run of pitching performances with another 1-hit shutout and a season-high 11 strikeouts.  One of the most shocking upsets of the season occurred in San Diego when New Mexico erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh for a stunning win over the defending MW champ Aztecs.  Boise State got a walk-off grand slam from Devon Bridges to beat Colorado State, and San Jose State came back from an early deficit to knock off UNLV in Las Vegas.

Fresno State 6, Nevada 0 - Jill Compton won her ninth consecutive start and pitched a complete-game, one-hitter with a season-high 11 strikeouts as the streaking Bulldogs won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.  Compton ended the game by recording her 200th strikeout of the season and earned her 23rd win of the year.  After allowing a double to Jasmine Jenkins with only one out in the game, Compton held Nevada hitless over the game's final 6 2/3 innings with another in a series of dominant performances in Mountain West play.  Fresno State took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kierra Willis hit her conference-leading seventh triple of the season to score Brenna Moss.  The Bulldogs broke it open with a 5-run sixth when Willis hit a 2-run single to finish with three RBI.  Malia Rivers and Whitney Smith both had a pair of hits on the night and each had a single in the 5-run sixth.  Rivers, Moss and Paige Gumz had RBI in that frame.

New Mexico 8, San Diego State 6 - Facing a 5-run deficit heading to the seventh inning, the Lobos responded with seven runs to stun the Aztecs and send the 3-time defending Mountain West champs to a fifth home loss in their last seven in San Diego.  New Mexico's victory snapped a string of 58 straight wins for San Diego State when the Aztecs were leading after five innings.  This one looked to be a case of missed opportunities for UNM, which stranded 11 base runners in the first six innings and trailed 6-1.  San Diego State pitcher Erica Romero routinely escaped jams but saw New Mexico take the lead in the seventh on six hits and a pair of Aztecs errors.  Down to their last out, the Lobos got a bases-loaded single from Mariah Rimmer (who earlier led off the inning by reaching on an error), and SDSU's fourth error of the game cleared the bases and gave UNM its first lead.  Krissy Fortner, who entered in the fifth in relief, grabbed the win and retired SDSU in order in the bottom of the seventh to complete the shocking comeback victory. 

San Jose St. 11, UNLV 3 - Jessica Madrid and Michelle Cox both had three RBI as the Spartans rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score 11 of the game's final 12 runs in a 6-inning, run-rule decision over the Rebels in Las Vegas.  UNLV was up 2-0 in the top of the third when SJSU scored three to take the lead.  After an Emily Haslinger home run tied it in the bottom of the third, the Spartans took advantage of UNLV miscues to go in front for good. Pitcher Janine Petmecky, after getting two quick outs in the fourth, hit a batter and walked another before being called for an illegal pitch that advanced both base runners.  A UNLV outfield error on a double by Michelle Cox then changed the complexion of the game as San Jose State went in front 6-3.  Four runs in the sixth put it away and invoked the run rule, with Alyssa Martinez hitting a key, 2-run double.  Allison Lang scattered seven hits and picked up the win.

Boise State 6, Colorado State 5 - Down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Broncos got a walk-off, grand slam from Devon Bridges to pull out a win over the Rams.  Holly Reinke was just two outs away from a 3-run victory when things changed suddenly for Colorado State.  After Reinke had overcome her team's shaky defense and four errors earlier, she was able to get the first out of the seventh on a Kayla Clausen groundout.  Consecutive walks and a Sara Ketelsleger single loaded the bases for Bridges, who'd been 0-for-3 in the game to that point.  Bridges belted a shot over the fence in right-center as BSU won for the third time in its last four home games.