Top Performances From College Softball March 15-17
The junior third baseman tripled her season home run total among her eight hits as Colorado State pounded out 31 runs in a three-game sweep of Fresno State in Fort Collins. Gamboa went 8-for-12 with two homers, two doubles, eight RBIs, and four runs. She capped off a 10-run fifth on Saturday with her first career grand slam, then hit a walk-off RBI-single an inning later to enforce the run-rule. The 12-4, six-inning win on Saturday was the first-ever win for CSU by run-rule over Fresno State, while Sunday's 11-5 win completed the first sweep of the Bulldogs in program history.
The freshman cooled off the hot Broncos twice as UNLV won a key series over No. 24 Boise State to open Mountain West play in Las Vegas. Bressler scattered nine hits in a complete-game effort in a 8-1 romp in the opener, but saved her best for Sunday. She out-dueled Broncos' ace Gianna Mancha in a fantastic 1-0 pitchers' duel to clinch the series, allowing just two hits, a walk, and hitting a batter. Bressler is now directly responsible for half of Boise State's losses, including the game on Friday which snapped their 17-game winning streak that was second only behind Alabama.
The Wildcats clinched the best start to SEC play in program history as they pushed their total win streak to 11 with a sweep of Mississippi State in Lexington. No. 12 Kentucky rolled 8-0 in the opener behind a pair of three-run bombs by senior shortstop Katie Reed. Junior Autumn Humes threw a five-inning shutout on Friday and a seven-inning two-hitter in the 4-1 game on Sunday to clinch the sweep. But the 6-0 start in conference play came down to a huge rally in the middle game, as UK trailed 6-0 in the third and later 7-2 in the fifth, scoring three runs in both the fifth and sixth en route to an 8-7 win. Senior third baseman Abbey Cheek hit a three-run blast in the fifth and drove in the winning run with an RBI groundout in the sixth.
The junior pitcher/first baseman threw 12 scoreless innings and piled up six hits including a pair of homers as No. 1 UCLA opened Pac-12 play with a bang, sweeping No. 7 Washington in Seattle. Garcia tossed a complete-game three-hit shutout on Friday and threw five scoreless innings in relief to get the win on Saturday. She hit the game-winning two-run homer in the middle game (the first four-bagger against UW's Gabbie Plain in over a month), then had a career day at the plate in the finale as the Bruins pounded UW 15-6 on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with a homer, a double, three runs and a career-high six RBIs.
The No. 14 Ragin' Cajuns dominated in all phases as they earned three straight run-rule wins over Troy in Lafayette. They outscored the Trojans 25-1 over the three-game series. Junior Summer Ellyson pitched almost the entire weekend, logging 15.2 innings while allowing just nine hits and one run. Junior catcher Julie Rawls battered Troy pitching all series long, going 6-for-8 with two homers, a double, eight RBIs, five runs, two walks and two steals.
The junior center fielder busted out of an 0-for-19 slump in dramatic fashion, piling up three straight three-hit games as Illinois State racked up 39 runs in a sweep of Evansville to open MVC play in Evansville, Ind. Wiebel went 9-for-12 with two homers, two doubles, five RBIs and five runs scored. It's her first time she's had three multi-hit games in a row in her career.
The Gophers' junior workhorse picked up three wins with 20 shutout innings as No. 15 Minnesota went 4-1 at the USF-Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. The righty shut out host USF on Friday, blanked Wichita State on Saturday, and then came back for six more shutout innings in a rematch with the Bulls on Sunday. Despite the heavy workload, Fiser allowed just 10 hits and two walks all weekend long.
The sophomore righty tossed the first no-hitter of her career as Tulsa blanked Nebraska 6-0 to finish a perfect 4-0 weekend at the Rock Chalk Challenge in Lawrence. Freshman shortstop Josie Muffley had three hits including her second career homer, driving in three runs which was more than enough as Pochop struck out seven Huskers and walked four. It was the first seven-inning no-hitter by a Golden Hurricane in more than five years, as Aimee Creger last accomplished the feat against Creighton on Feb. 28, 2014.
The junior backstop led the charge offensively and defensively as No. 25 Ole Miss won four games including twice against No. 17 Oklahoma State in Oxford. Gillespie went 7-for-11 with two home runs and two doubles, capped by a 3-for-3 game with three extra-base hits in Sunday's 10-1 rout of the Cowgirls. Gillespie also earned three extra outs for her pitchers on Sunday alone, catching two runners stealing and picking off a third in the wins over Samford and OK State. Combined with wins in the final two games of a series against then-No. 18 Arkansas last weekend, the Rebels have amassed four top-25 wins in just eight days, the most ranked wins in such a short period in program history.