Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday's action sets the stage for final week of play

On the final day of the penultimate week of the regular season, things went pretty much as expected.  Teams at the top picked up wins, while the bottom dwellers in the Mountain West standings showed why they're in that position.

San Diego St. 10, Utah State 4 - The Aztecs set a school-record with six home runs, giving them 58 for the season, which ties the school mark.  Utah State, which limped to the end of last season and finished with 10 straight losses, is doing it again this year as Sunday's loss was the Aggies' season-high 11th in a row.  USU has been outscored 84-25 during its current 11-game losing streak. SDSU kept its slim Mountain West title hopes alive by winning its fifth in a row and scoring nine unanswered runs after trailing 4-1 entering the third.  Noelle Johnson was all the Aggies had on this day, pitching a complete game and getting all four RBI with a 2-run homer and 2-run double.  The Aztecs got two home runs from Sydnee Cable and one each from Kayla Jordan, Taylor Stewart, Kayla Bufardeci and Hayley Miles.  Erica Romero got the win and scattered 10 hits as USU stranded 11 base runners.

San Jose St. 7, Nevada 1 - The Spartans won their second straight game over the Wolf Pack after snapping a 3-game losing streak.  Katelyn Linford allowed three hits in the win and San Jose State had 12 of its own, with the Spartans' 2 through 4 hitters in the lineup accounting for 75 percent of the team's hits in the game.  Jessica Madrid, Jessie Hufstetler and Anissa Pinedo all had three hits, and Madrid and Pinedo finished with two RBI each.  Nevada used three pitchers in the contest and committed a pair of errors.  The aforementioned trio of Spartans hitters accounted for the only extra-base hits for San Jose State as all three finished with one double.  Linford had nine strikeouts in the victory.

New Mexico 11, Boise State 3 (5 innings) - Facing a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Lobos erupted for 10 runs on seven hits to win this one going away and sweep the 3-game series.  Predicted to finish last in the preseason poll of Mountain West coaches, New Mexico now is one win away from being guaranteed a winning record in conference play and two wins shy of a 30-win season.  With two wins next week, coach Erica Beach's squad can also finish the regular season as the only Mountain West team to win all four of its home conference series.  UNM got five consecutive hits to begin the bottom of the fourth as Mariah Rimmer singled to begin the frame and Karissa Haleman doubled her home.  A Chelsea Johnson single, Mia Hignojos double and Lisa Rodrigues 2-run single would follow.  The inning culminated in a 3-run home run by Johnson in her second at-bat of the inning.  Rodrigues' solo blast in the fifth ended the game via the run rule and also handed her the victory in relief.  Nicole Wilson took the loss for struggling Boise State, which has now lost a school record 39 games.

UNLV 7, Colorado State 3 - The Rams committed four errors for the second straight game and they proved costly once again in a home loss to the Rebels, who captured the series two games to one.  Five of UNLV's 12 hits went for extra bases and came against Rams freshman pitcher Trinity Harrington, who picked up the win in the series opener on Friday.  Garie Blando, Alyssa Cordova and Janine Petmecky all had two hits.  Morgan Ettinger pitched the complete-game victory for the Rebels, surviving a tense seventh inning when Colorado State scored a pair of runs and brought the potential tying run to the plate with two outs.  Taylor Hutton popped up to shortstop to end the game with the bases loaded.  Colorado State finished the home portion of its schedule with a surprising 2-10 conference record.