Friday, April 1, 2016

Bulldogs beat Aztecs 9-2 in showdown series opener


When Fresno State and San Diego State get together in softball, it's always a good series and one that usually determines a conference champion and has postseason implications.  This one was no different in front of a crowd of 1,583 fans at Margie Wright Diamond.

In game one of a 3-game series Friday, it was 25th-ranked Fresno State coming out on top in a big way with a 9-2 win over the Aztecs, who are receiving votes in the national rankings.  This battle -- between the only two teams to win the Mountain West title and represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament the past four years -- was all Bulldogs.  With the win, Fresno State now has a 14-game conference winning streak and moves alone into sole possession of first place in the Mountain West.

Fresno State senior pitcher Jill Compton (12-4), who hadn't pitched at home in 40 days due to a strange schedule, some rainouts and an injury that kept her out of action for a large chunk of last month, looked strong in the circle and earned the complete-game win.  Compton allowed six hits and improved to 3-0 in MW play and 3-0 overall at home this season, with all three wins coming in complete-game victories over teams that made the 2015 NCAA tournament.

The Bulldog bats remained sizzling hot.  In their past five wins, Fresno State has outscored the opposition 71-19.  And when it wasn't the Bulldog bats taking over, it was some game-changing poise at the plate for Trisha Ford's team.  The 'Dogs worked eight walks off of three Aztecs pitchers (a season-high in walks for San Diego State) and have walked 18 times in the past two games.

Lindsey Willmon, fresh off a Mountain West single-game record nine RBI performance in her last outing, was on fire again.  Willmon hit her third home run in the last two games and added a double and two RBI, going 6-for-8 with 11 RBI since Wednesday.

Paige Gumz had two hits and two RBI, Kierra Willis had a pair of hits (including a double) and two RBI, and those two -- along with Willmon -- combined to score six runs.  Alex Formby took the loss for SDSU, going 2+ innings, allowing five hits, four runs (all earned) and walking five.

While Fresno State is 4-0 in MW play, San Diego State falls to 3-4.

Boise State 7, Colorado State 6 - Rebekah Cervantes hit a 3-run home run and the Broncos fought back from a 5-run deficit to shock the Rams in Fort Collins.  Nicole Wilson came on in relief with Boise State already down five runs, but allowed just one unearned run over the game's final six innings to pick up the win.  It snapped a 12-game losing streak in conference play for the Broncos, whose last MW win -- in April 2015 -- also came against the Rams.  Holly Reinke took the loss.  Game two of Friday's doubleheader was suspended with the score tied 7-7 in the sixth.

Utah St. 7, UNLV 3 - The Aggies won in Las Vegas over the Rebels, who lost a fourth straight conference game.

Nevada, Reno 5, New Mexico 1 - In Reno, the Pack prevailed over the Lobos.