Aztecs Look to Claim Second Straight MW Tournament

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State, which extended its league record with a ninth Mountain West regular-season title last weekend, looks to claim its second straight MW Championship this weekend when it travels to Boise, Idaho.
The Aztecs (28-18, 15-7 MW) received the No. 1 seed in the six-team postseason tournament which will be played for just the second time since 2006 with the winner receiving the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. UNLV (31-17, 14-8 MW) earned the No. 2 seed and join SDSU with a spot in the double-elimination portion of the tournament. The other four teams - No. 3 seed Nevada (38-15, 14-8 MW), No. 4 seed Fresno State (33-18, 13-9 MW), No. 5 seed Boise State (33-21, 13-9 MW) and No. 6 seed Colorado State (26-20, 9-12 MW) - will play an elimination game on Thursday for the right to join San Diego State and the Rebels.
The Aztecs kick off their play in the tournament at 6:30 p.m. MT Thursday against the winner of fourth-seeded Fresno State and fifth-seeded Boise State. Overall, there will be four games on Thursday, three on Friday and one (two if necessary) on Saturday.
Last year, SDSU ran through the MW Tournament as the No. 2 seed, winning all three games by a combined score of 20-4. San Diego State then won all three games at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional and then the first game of the NCAA Super Regional at Utah, before falling in two straight, coming one win short of making the Women's College World Series.
The postseason tournament was contested from 2000-06 with all six teams at the time competing for the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. The Aztecs were the top seed in three of those seven tournaments, but never captured the championship, finishing runner-up and falling in the championship game an amazing five times (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006). Utah (four) and Brigham Young (two), which are no longer in the league, combined for six of the seven MW championships with Colorado State winning the other in 2003 before SDSU's victory last year. From 2007-22, the team with the best conference record earned the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
SDSU is 14-11 all-time in the MW Tournament, including a 6-5 mark as the top seed.
On Wednesday, Mac Barbara (.368/.491/.712, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 28 R) was named the MW Co-Player of the Year, while Stacey Nuvemen Deniz was honored as the MW Coach of the Year. Barbara was joined on the all-conference first team by pitchers Dee Dee Hernandez (10-4, 2.45 ERA, 2 SV, 68.2 IP) and Allie Light (10-7, 2.74 ERA, 2 SV, 112.1 IP), while catcher Cali Decker (.300/.402/.409, 1 HR, 20 RBI) made the second team. The postseason awards are voted on by the league's nine head coaches and take into account Mountain West games only (stats listed above were overall).