Saturday, March 25, 2017

Quality pitching, inside-the-park HR push Bulldogs to top of MW standings

Two-time defending Mountain West champion Fresno State moved into sole possession of first place with a convincing 8-2 win over Boise State Saturday.

Junior transfer Savannah McHellon, who hit a grand slam in Friday's win, picked up the complete-game pitching victory tonight, allowing just five hits and striking out seven.  Freshman Miranda Rohleder hit a rare, inside-the-park home run -- a 2-run shot that bounced off the blue foam padding atop the fence in right field before caroming away from the Boise State outfielder.  The speedy second baseman never stopped while rounding the bases and pushed the Bulldogs' lead at that point to four runs.

That was more than enough for McHellon, who tossed her fifth complete game of the year, and was rarely in trouble.  All five hits were singles, and three were of the infield variety.  Meanwhile, Fresno State's offense -- for the second night in a row -- consisted of a lot of patience at the plate where the Bulldogs worked nine walks for the second straight game.  Senior Kierra Willis walked three times and scored a pair of runs.  Willis is now six walks shy of the all-time Fresno State record in that category.

In other MW games Saturday, Colorado State's Amber Nelson hit a home run in the Rams' home win over San Diego State; Nevada and Utah State split a pair of games in Reno; and UNLV evened its series with New Mexico at a game apiece, with a 4-2 win in Las Vegas.

Heading into Sunday, Fresno State is the only MW team assured a series win for the second straight weekend.  The Bulldogs will attempt to become the first team in the conference to sweep a 3-game series, while Colorado State, Nevada, UNLV and New Mexico will all look for their first series win.

The Bulldogs hold a one game lead in the conference standings thru Saturday's play.