Sunday, February 14, 2016

Impressive Bulldogs move to 4-0, while Lobos, Rebels get key wins


Fresno State continued to be the story in the Mountain West on the first Saturday of the 2016 season.

The Bulldogs picked up where they left off on Friday, grabbing two more wins at the Kajikawa Classic to push their record to a perfect 4-0.  Jill Compton was spectacular in the circle, limiting Boston College to just three hits as Fresno State grabbed a 3-1 win to knock the Eagles from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Three of the Bulldogs' four wins the past two days have come over teams from power conferences (the SEC, Big Ten and now ACC).  Fresno State has a chance for another Sunday when it meets its second ranked team of the weekend -- 23rd-ranked Utah.

Saturday's late game at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe matched a pair of 3-0 teams in Boston College and Fresno State.  After pounding 16 hits in an 8-1 rout of Nevada earlier in the day, the Eagles couldn't solve Compton.  But, in a tight pitcher's duel, it was BC who scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a 2-out RBI single.

Fresno State would rally in the seventh with three runs in the top of the inning.  Malia Rivers tied the game with an RBI single, and the Bulldogs took the lead on a Boston College error before Paige Gumz hit a sacrifice fly to deep left for the 2-run cushion.  Compton pitched a quick and perfect bottom of the seventh.

Earlier, Fresno State posted a 7-4 win over Seattle after falling behind 2-0.  Gumz hit a 2-run homer in that one, while Alyssa Villalpando and Kierra Willis both tripled, and a pair of freshmen -- Dominique Jackson and Vanessa Hernandez -- hit doubles.  Jackson went 2-for-2, while Rivers had three RBI in the win over the Redhawks.  Hannah Harris started and got the win in that one, while freshman Kamalani Dung saw her first action in the circle for the Bulldogs.  Dung struck out three and allowed just an earned run in three innings of work before Compton tossed one inning to pick up the save.

New Mexico split a pair of games, getting one of its bigger non-conference wins in awhile with an 8-4 triumph over Stanford. Later, the Lobos were shut out by Cal Poly 2-0.

UNLV, in its lone game of the day, defeated Syracuse 6-1 behind Janine Petmecky.  The Rebels joined the Lobos as teams with 2-1 records.

San Diego State split a pair of 1-run games, falling to UT-San Antonio 3-2 before beating Weber State 2-1.  The Aztecs are 2-2 entering play Sunday.  After going 2-0 Friday, Nevada dropped a pair of games Saturday.  Along with the aforementioned 8-1 loss to Boston College, the Pack fell 3-2 to Wisconsin during a morning game in Tempe.

San Jose State picked up its first win -- a 10-1 (six innings) rout of Virginia, which committed three first-inning errors to set the tone.  SJSU scored seven times in that opening frame and never looked back.  The Spartans later lost 9-2 to 8th-ranked Tennessee, which rebounded from a 7-3 loss to Fresno State on Friday.

Utah State fell 5-2 to Indiana as the Hoosiers picked up their first win of the season.  It would be USU winning its first game later in the day -- a 6-2 victory over Bradley.  Colorado State fell to 0-4 with two losses.  The Rams couldn't hold a late lead and fell 9-8 to Wichita State in eight innings, and then were shut out by Texas A&M 3-0 at the Aggies' tournament.  Boise State completed an 0-5 weekend with a 4-2 loss to Bradley.