Saturday, March 5, 2016

Aztecs stun Texas A&M, while Bulldogs finish sweep of Northwestern

In Friday's action involving Mountain West teams, San Diego State notched its biggest win of the season and biggest win in several years, knocking off No. 11/9 Texas A&M with a dramatic, come-from-behind victory.

And No. 21/22 Fresno State completed a 2-game season sweep of perennial Big Ten power Northwestern, knocking off the Wildcats for the second time in less than a week.

San Diego St. 10, No. 11/9 Texas A&M 5 - At home in San Diego, the Aztecs erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 4-2 deficit and go on for the win.  After spotting San Diego State a 2-run lead in the first, A&M responded with 2-run innings of its own in both the second and third innings to take a 4-2 lead.   That's the way it remained until the bottom of the sixth when the Aggies imploded. Freshman pitcher Samantha Show walked four Aztec batters in the frame and A&M shortstop Kristen Cuyos threw home wildly on a force play at the plate that should've been out number two in the sixth inning with the Aggies in front 4-3.  Instead, it tied the game and set the stage for SDSU to score six unearned runs in an inning where the Aztecs sent 13 batters to the plate.  Sam Vlot and Jaylene Ignacio reached base twice safely in the inning, with Vlot reaching on a walk and a single, and Ignacio singling twice.  A&M used three pitchers in the sixth.  San Diego State had 14 hits in the game -- 12 of them singles.  Vlot and Jenavee Peres had the only extra-base hits for SDSU, both doubles.  Leia Ruiz and Zaria Meshack had three hits apiece to lead San Diego State, which got a win in relief from transfer pitcher Alex Formby (now 3-3).

No. 21/22 Fresno State 7, Northwestern 1 - At the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, the Bulldogs turned a tight pitcher's duel into a rout in the fifth inning to pick up their second win over Northwestern in six days.  Wildcats pitcher Amy Letourneau, who'd pitched a complete-game win over then-No. 10 UCLA in her last outing, was strong again early against the Bulldogs before Fresno State broke through in the fifth in a 1-0 game.  Alyssa Villalpando led off the top of the fifth for the 'Dogs with a walk, and junior transfer Lindsey Willmon followed with a long home run to left for a 2-1 lead.  It was Willmon's fourth homer of the young season.  Malia Rivers added an RBI single in the same inning, and the Wildcats were unable to handle a hard-hit grounder off the bat of freshman Dominique Jackson and it was a 4-run Fresno State fifth.  In the sixth, the Bulldogs added two more runs after Villalpando singled, freshman Vanessa Hernandez got a hit that carried to the wall in center for an RBI, and Bria Kennedy hit an RBI single.  In the seventh, Willmon added her third RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly.  Jill Compton (8-1) threw a complete-game 5-hitter, holding Northwestern to its lowest run total in a game this season, to pick up her Mountain West-leading eighth win.

In other games, Nevada split a pair at Sacramento State, winning 3-1 in game one, before being run-ruled by the Hornets in an 8-0 game in five innings.  Boise State fell twice, losing 4-3 to Pacific and 12-1 (five innings) at No. 9/7 Washington.  Florida Atlantic won 3-1 at the UNLV Classic over the host Rebels.  And San Jose State saw its losing streak reach seven games against a strong schedule of opponents.  The Spartans lost 6-1 to No. 22/24 Baylor in the afternoon, and 2-1 to Long Beach State in the evening session at the Judi Garman Classic.