Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday softball action around the Mountain West

With the Mountain West championship race already decided last weekend, there isn't a whole lot on the line as we head into the final two weeks of the season.  Conference champion Fresno State is playing for NCAA Tournament seeding and a possible regional hosting slot.  And San Jose State and San Diego State are also playing to keep their slim NCAA at-large hopes alive as well.  All three games that were played Friday went to the visiting teams.

No. 18 Fresno State at Nevada, postponed - The opening game of the series in Reno was postponed due to poor field conditions from heavy overnight rains.  It will be made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader, beginning at 1 pm.  Thunderstorms are also a possibility for Saturday.

San Jose St. 17, Boise State 9 (6 innings) - In Boise, the teams combined for nine home runs in a slugfest, won by the visiting Spartans.  SJSU had four home runs, getting dingers from Alyssa Avila, Taylor Purdy, Brittany Abacherli and Jessie Hufstetler. The 3-run shot by Hufstetler came with two outs in the seventh inning, following a Broncos error.  It was part of a 7-run top of the seventh.  Boise State hit five home runs in the contest, getting round-trippers from Rebekah Cervantes, Teauna Hughes, Morgan Lamb, and a pair from Makenzie Sullivan.  In 10 Mountain West games at Dona Larsen Park in Boise this season, 38 home runs have been hit.  Since winning MW Pitcher of the Week honors two weeks ago, Spartans hurler Katelyn Linford has started four straight games without a win.  She went an inning and one-third, surrendering five runs, including three long balls.  Colette Riggs (7 H, 4 R, 2 HR) pitched 4 2/3 innings and picked up the win.  Jenna Bassler, the third of three BSU pitchers, took the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) in 2+ innings.

San Diego St. 23, New Mexico 4 (5 innings) - In Albuquerque, the Aztecs got off to a roaring start and never let up, obliterating the Lobos on their home field.  Sam Camello started the game with a single down the right-field line as the first eight batters of the game all reached base safely before UNM could record the first out.  Jordan McPherson started for the Lobos in the circle and exited this one very early, as Lisa Rodrigues came in and struggled as well.  UNM head coach Erica Beach left Rodrigues in the rest of the way and San Diego State scored a school-record in runs and had a school- and Mountain West-record 28 hits in the contest.  McPherson (5 hits, 6 runs in 0+ inning) took the loss, while Rodrigues was charged with 23 hits and 17 runs in 5 innings of work.  No San Diego State batter struck out in the contest.  The 23 runs were one shy of the all-time MW record set two years ago by Fresno State in a 24-4 rout at Boise State.  Camello etched her name in the MW record books with a 6-for-6 hitting performance as every Aztec had a hit, and eight of the nine SDSU batters had a multi-hit game.  The first six hitters in the Aztecs lineup combined to go 22-for-27 with 19 RBI as struggling New Mexico lost its eighth straight home game.  UNM, which was predicted to finish fourth in the conference standings after finishing fourth a year ago, has lost seven straight MW games on its home field.  After an 8-run first inning, a 10-run fourth sealed the deal and capped the day for San Diego State.  Erica Romero went three innings for the victory, and UNM hit four solo home runs for all of its scoring.  During this 0-7 home stretch in conference play, New Mexico has been outscored 78-33.  The game was played in extremely windy weather conditions, with sustained 30 mph winds and gusts reaching upwards of 50 mph.

Colorado State 4, UNLV 2 - In Las Vegas, the Rams got a complete-game 6-hitter from pitcher Holly Reinke and held off the Rebels.  It was the 50th career win for Reinke.  Amber Nelson had two hits, including a 2-run double that was part of Colorado State's top of the third inning when the Rams scored all of their runs.  Jaelyn Manzanares was the other CSU player with a multi-hit game.  She finished with two, including an RBI single in the third.  UNLV scored both of its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Rams had three consecutive 1-out errors.  The Rebels' only hit of the frame was a bunt single.  Reinke scattered six hits for the victory, while Morgan Ettinger (7 hits, 4 earned runs) tossed a complete game and took the loss.