Sunday, April 12, 2015

Compton's 1-hit shutout has Fresno State tied with Aztecs for first


In what's become a familiar theme over the last couple of seasons, Fresno State and San Diego State find themselves tied atop the Mountain West softball standings late in the season.  And another familiar scene:  Fresno State's Jill Compton, who's been named MW Pitcher of the Week three of the past four weeks, will likely hear her named called again after a 1-hit shutout Sunday.  It was Compton's sixth win in 11 days and fourth this week.

As play concluded around the league in four weekend series, the Bulldogs rode Compton's arm and blasted Utah State 8-0 in five innings to claim their third consecutive Mountain West road series win.  Later, San Diego State snapped a surprising 3-game home losing streak by salvaging a win in extra innings over San Jose State.

Elsewhere, New Mexico won its fourth series of the season, coming from behind to beat Colorado State 7-4.  Nevada and Boise State split a doubleheader, with the Pack winning 4-3 in nine innings in the opener, before the Broncos picked up a wild 16-13 win in the nightcap.  And in non-conference play, UNLV fell 9-1 in five innings at 20th-ranked Cal as the Bears swept the 3-game weekend series.

Fresno State 8, Utah State 0 (5 innings) - Jill Compton pitched a 1-hit shutout -- her sixth of the season -- and finished a remarkable 11-day string where she won six games during that time.  It was also her fourth win of the week as the Bulldogs went 5-1 over the last six days, winning both of their conference series, including this one in Logan.  Coach Trisha Ford's squad was the only Mountain West team to win three series during a rigorous stretch where most teams were required to play nine games in 11 days.  Fresno State had little trouble against Utah State's starting pitcher Noelle Johnson a day after she led them to their first win over the Bulldogs in 14 years.  Paige Gumz hit a 2-run home run in the third inning and was one of four Fresno State players with multiple-hit games.  A 6-run fourth inning was the Aggies' undoing as the Bulldogs pounded out seven hits in that frame alone to finish with 32 hits in the series.  The first four Fresno State batters in the frame (Chase LeeHong, Whitney Smith, Brenna Moss and Malia Rivers) all had singles.  Kierra Willis had an RBI single and Alyssa Villalpando a 2-run single as the Bulldogs had five hits with runners in scoring position.  Compton gave up a leadoff single to Sarah Chow to start the game, and that was it for Utah State for the entire game.  Gumz, Rivers, Villalpando and Michelle Solomon all had two hits in Fresno State's 12-hit attack.  The Bulldogs became the first Mountain West team to reach 30 wins this season.  And in doing so, Fresno State (30-14 overall) has now achieved 30 or more wins in every season since softball became an official NCAA sport in 1982.  That's 34 straight years.

San Diego St. 3, San Jose St. 2 (9 innings) - In quite a change from the first two games of this series, a pitcher's duel broke out and the Aztecs avoided being swept at home.  It was the same two starting pitchers for a third straight day as Erica Romero and Allison Lang went the distance in a tense game with a slew of stranded base runners.  The teams combined to leave 22 runners on base as both pitchers got out of tough situations late in the game.  Ultimately, an ill-advised decision to attempt a pick-off at second base changed the complexion of the game.  In the bottom of the ninth, Kayla Jordan walked to lead off the frame for San Diego State.  With one out, Jordan was at second base when San Jose State catcher Emma Entzminger tried to catch her leaning.  Entzminger's errant throw allowed Jordan to take third base.  A bunt single by Jenavee Peres then allowed Jordan to score the game-winning run and SDSU salvaged a win after giving up 20 runs in its previous two games.  The Aztecs had lost three straight and four of five at home prior to today's win.  San Jose State missed out on a chance to take a commanding lead over SDSU in the Mountain West standings that would've essentially amounted to three games.  Peres homered in the second and her two RBI led the Aztecs.  The somewhat sloppy game featured four errors and 10 walks as Lang and Romero combined for 296 pitches, with Lang throwing 156 of those.

New Mexico 7, Colorado State 4 - After spotting the Rams a pair of early runs on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly, the Lobos rallied for four runs in the fourth on their way to a win over the Rams.  After dropping the series opener on Friday, UNM won its second straight to claim a fourth series victory in Mountain West play.  Freshman Chelsea Johnson hit an RBI single to make it a 2-1 deficit for the Lobos in the fourth before Michala Erickson gave New Mexico its first lead with a 3-run home run.  After Colorado State tied the game 4-4, Mariah Rimmer hit the Lobos' second home run of the day.  Rimmer's 2-run shot made it 6-4, and UNM would add another run on a Rimmer groundout following a Rams error.  Each team finished with eight hits and Rimmer's two led the Lobos.  CSU got a pair of 2-hit games as both Haley and Taylor Hutton had two.

Nevada 4, Boise State 3 (9 innings)
Boise State 16, Nevada 13 - After Saturday's game was postponed, the teams split a Sunday doubleheader that featured several long balls.  In the opener, Jennifer Purcell singled and Ashley Butera hit her seventh home run of the season -- a 2-run shot, scoring Purcell -- to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth inning of a game that would go into extras.  In the ninth, Purcell's sacrifice fly won it after Karley Hopkins and Megan Sweet singled in the inning, and Jasmine Jenkins walked.  Megan Dortch (4-8) earned the opening-game win, while Nicole Wilson (2-7) took the loss for Boise State and it was exactly the reverse in the nightcap.  The first game of the doubleheader was the Broncos' 32nd defeat of the season, tying the program record for most losses in a single season.  In a back-and-forth game in the nightcap, Boise State took an 8-1 lead before watching Nevada come all the way back and go in front 10-9.  A 7-run bottom of the sixth gave the Broncos a 16-10 lead before the Pack scored three in the seventh to close the gap.  The teams combined for 12 extra-base hits in game two, including five home runs.  Nevada had a pair of players -- Amanda Weis and Molly McWilliams -- hit two each, while Boise State had a home run from senior Devon Bridges.  Weis and McWilliams both finished with five RBI. Five Broncos had multi-hit games in the nightcap.  Teauna Hughes had three hits and two RBI, Jordan Kreiger three hits and two RBI, and Sara Ketelsleger two hits and three RBI.  Nevada's three errors meant a staggering eight of Boise State's 16 runs were unearned.