May 1, 2010
Check out the photos from the softball team's trip to Hawai'i.
Check out the pictures I took at San Jose State!
Top 25 Finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Announced
The Top 25 list represents 20 schools and seven different NCAA Division I Conferences. The list is comprised of 10 seniors, seven juniors, one sophomore and seven freshman. The 2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be chosen from the 25 finalists.
2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalists
Tuscaloosa News - Kaitlin Griffin Story
Youtube - Courtney Moore's Double
ESPNU Early Season All-Americans
Jody Badorine in the Madera Tribune
Meet the Team Pictures
In celebration of head softball coach Margie Wright entering her 25th year at Fresno State, gobulldogs.com will feature exclusive blogs each week to honor all of the great achievements, standout student-athletes and unforgettable memories we have all got to share.
In the past 25 years, Wright has accrued arguably the most impressive list of achievements of any softball coach in the history of the NCAA. Wright is the NCAA's all-time winningest Division I softball coach and ranks second all-time in the NCAA for victories regardless of the sport. She is the first NCAA Division I softball coach to earn 1,000 victories and boasts a more than impressive overall record at Fresno State of 1,182-387-1 with a winning percentage of .753.
Under Wright's reign, the Bulldogs have been consistently dominant finishing in the Top 25, 22 out of 24 seasons and making 24-consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearances. Throughout the Wright dynasty, the softball program earned the Universities first NCAA Division I team title in the 1998 Women's College World Series, was a national runner-up four times, finished third in the country three times, tied for fifth four times, won the conference championship a total of 17 times (10 WAC, 4 Big West, 2 PCAA, 1 NorPac) and earned NCAA Regional Titles 10 times. Since 1988, Wright has led the Bulldogs to the top ranked spot in the nations polls five times and has had them shown in the number two spot 35 times.
Wright has recruited and coached 129 all-conference student-athletes, 87 all-region selections, and boasts 53 NCAA All-Americans.
For all of her achievements, Wright has been inducted into 12 different hall of fames to go along with National Coach of the Year honors in 1998 when she led the `Dogs to win the National Championship, 10 conference coach of the year awards and has seven times been named NCAA Region Coach of the Year.
As Wright prepares to embark on her 25th season with the `Dogs, there's only one thing that could make things any sweeter and that's adding another NCAA Championship!
BULLDOG SOFTBALL 2010 BUS TOURS
We will leave Fresno at 8:00 AM and stop for lunch in downtown Palo Alto before heading to the Stanford campus for the scheduled 1:30 PM first pitch with the Hornets.
The game against the Cardinal follows the conclusion of Sacramento State game. After the games we will stop for dinner on the way home, arriving in Fresno by about 10:00 PM.
Cost: $66.00 per person [Bus and game ticket.]
UC Santa Barbara
Cost: $82.00 per person [Bus and game ticket.]
San Jose State
Cost: $60.00 per person [Bus and game ticket.]
For reservations or additional information, call Tim Schiller at 225-3164.
ASA announces 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team Athletes and Alternates
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today the 17 athletes that were offered a USA Softball Athlete Agreement for the 2010 season. The final roster for the 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team will be announced in March with the team competing in the ISF Women's World Championships, June 23-July 2, 2010 in Caracas, Venezuela as well as other events to be scheduled at a later date.
The athletes below were offered a USA Softball athlete agreement for 2010:
The following 13 athletes selected from the selection camp will be alternates on the 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team:
USA Softball announces 2010 Women's National Team Selection Camp Attendees
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and USA Softball announced today its list of 31 athletes who have accepted an invitation to the 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team Selection Camp in Chula Vista, Calif., Jan. 4-8. The 17-member team plus alternates selected from this camp will represent USA Softball during the 2010 season. The schedule of events for the 2010 season will be announced at a later date at www.usasoftball.com
The 2010 Women's National Team Selection Camp attendees include:
Monica Abbott - Salinas, Calif.
About USA Softball
The 2009 induction of the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame was held at Valdez Hall in Fresno on Nov. 15. The 2009 class included former Bulldog greats Tom Goodwin, Ron Anderson, Stephen Abas and more! Included in that class was former Bulldog softball great Laura Berg! Berg played for head coach Margie Wright from 1994-95 and 1997-98. She was a four-time All-American and a member of the 1998 National Championship team!
Ashley Cox, Jr., RHP
I attented The Red Ribbon week activities at Woods Elementary with a few other Fresno State athletes. The students were so excited to see us and had us sign anything they had with them. When the lunch bell rang for them to go to class they were sad we had to leave and were interested in coming to our games. We talked to them about our sports and the drug free journey we took to get were we are today. It was a great experience being with the the students beucase I remember being in those shoes at an elementary school here just a few blocks away.
Jody Badorine, So., OF
After Coach's many years of fighting to get us an indoor batting cage, we finally got one and this is our first year that we are able to use it! This is an awesome addition to our field because when it is raining, we now have somewhere that we are able to take batting practice and even take grounders instead of in a gym. We are all thankful for this and appreiciate all the hard work that Coach put in to getting us an indoor batting cage.
Tomorrow is Halloween and the Fresno State softball team has the weekend off. Two of the softball student-athletes decided to share some of their Halloween favorite with the Bulldog fans. See what sophomore Jody Badorine and junior Morgan Melloh had to say about the holiday.
Becca Walker, Fr., IF
My college experience so far has been everything I expected and more. Softball practices have been great. I love that practices are intense and to the point. We work hard to achieve the goals we have set. School has been fairly easy for me. The only real difference I see from college to high school is that the work comes at you faster and there are not many tests but when there are tests they cover five or six chapters. I am looking forward to deciding on a major and picking my own classes for the spring semester. I cannot believe that we have already been in school for almost two months...that means season is almost here! I am looking forward to the season and the spring semester!
Hannah Williams, Fr., RHP
So far my time at Fresno State has been everything I have expected and more. I LOVE IT!!! I'm not going to lie, workouts are tough and practices are really intense but I like it. We get in, work hard and get out. Weights are tough but Daisy is great. My most favorite part of practice is when we get to hit front toss. I love hitting, it's so much fun. School has been going really great also. I like all my classes, especially the ones toward my major, kinesiology. So far everything is going really well. I just can't wait to be done with fall ball, so we can start the season and start traveling. :))))
Diane Runge, Fr., OF
The first day of school was nerve-racking for me. Never having stepped foot on a college campus, I didn't know what to expect. I got settled into my classes and was surprised at how friendly people on campus were. I have really like the college atmosphere here at Fresno State.
Getting to know the ins and outs of Fresno State softball was eventful in my first few weeks of school. We got right into workouts and practice the first week of classes. Individual practices allowed for me to get to know the outfield and Coach a lot better. I really liked how fast-paced our practices were and how we got a lot done in a certain amount of time. The girls were very inviting and took the freshmen under their wing to make us comfortable in the locker room and at practice. Conditioning and weights were, and still are, difficult.
Having never lifted weights in my life, I felt so weak, but I realized how much stronger I have gotten as the weeks have been progressing. Finally getting our sweats this week, Becca and I were excited. All the newcomers seem to be adjusting pretty well and we're having a good time on the field.
The fall edition of Softball West Magazine features a small article on freshman Hannah Williams being named a high school All-American. To learn more about Softball West Magazine or to subscribe log on to www.softballwest.com.
Softball's 2016 Olympic fate likely decided on Thursday
In March, International Softball Federation President Don Porter pledged to re-double efforts to get softball reinstated to the Olympic Games in 2016 following the news that the IOC will shortlist only two sports for the IOC Session vote in Copenhagen in October.
"While the decision to cut the list to only two sports for a vote by 115 IOC Members was a surprise, it has not deflected the commitment behind, and focus of, our campaign (Back Softball). If anything it has given us further incentive to work even harder at communicating the incredible value that softball offers the Olympic Movement," Porter said in March. "We are greatly encouraged by the way IOC Members are reacting to how softball would help the Olympic Movement open up women's sport - especially in Muslim countries; they also like our global focus on youth and our 100-percent doping-free track record.
"But most of all, IOC Members appreciate that the Olympic Games would be the absolute pinnacle of our international competition structure; the whole softball calendar would peak every quadrennial with the Olympic Games. While I cannot comment on other sports, I can tell you that the Olympic Games would not be just another competition in an over-crowded calendar for softball. For millions of softball players around the world the Olympic Games would be the greatest honor and we guarantee that the world's best softball athletes would all commit to performing at the Olympic Games."
Softball was first featured in the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year's competition in Beijing was very successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport's excellent record of no positive doping tests at any of the four Summer Olympics that the sport has been a part of.
About USA Softball
Fresno State fans can check out a story on 2010 softball player Rebecca Walker in her hometown newspaper here: http://www.presstelegram.com/preps/ci_12862997.
Fans can continue to check www.gobulldogs.com and the Fresno State blog in the off season for all of the news on the `Dogs on and off the field.
Below are some helpful links for fans to keep updated with the world of college softball in its entirety in the off season.
USA Softball - www.usasoftball.com
National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) - www.nfca.org
NCAA - www.ncaa.com
Fresno State Softball - www.fresnostatesoftball.org
Western Athletic Conference - www.wacsports.com
Graham Hayes, a blogger for www.ESPN.com, made his early predictions for the 2010 softball season in which he listed Bulldog sophomore pitching ace Morgan Melloh as one of the top five pitchers to watch out for. Click here to read the complete article: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/columns/story?columnist=hays_graham&id=4228326.
Softball fans: Don't forget that the Women's College World Series Championship Series is on tonight at 5 p.m. PST on ESPN 2. No. 3 Washington defeated No. 1 Florida 8-0 last night to win game one of the three-game series. Even though Fresno State softball's season is over, watching the teams that Fresno State had played and seen all season long is fun and there is nothing better than watching a new national champion being crowned! Also remembering the Bulldogs' game vs. Washington back on March 14 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, the `Dogs were so close to that victory as they took the Huskies and their pitching ace and the National Collegiate Softball Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie to 11 innings.
Neither Washington nor Florida has ever won a softball national championship and if Florida is able to come back and win the next two games, the Gators would be the first team ever from the SEC and just the second team east of the Mississippi River (Michigan, 2005) to win a national title in the sport.
For complete coverage on the 2009 Women's College World Series, visit www.ncaa.com.
Blood Drive Results
I know I know, it's been a while! This season has definitely been hectic. If any of you missed that 16-inning game on Saturday, shame on you! That was definitely a not-miss game and it was only game one of the doubleheader!
The `Dogs have UC Santa Barbara tonight in a doubleheader to take a break from WAC play before hitting the road to Ruston, La., later in the week.
Speaking of the WAC, the 2009 WAC Tournament is back in Fresno! May 6-9 at Bulldog Diamond come see the top seven seeds in the WAC battle it out for the automatic berth to the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Click here for all of the details: http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/09-wac-softbal-tourney.html.
March 5, 2009
The first Thursday of March began under the lights with Bulldog softball. It's a breezy evening outside as the `Dogs stretch before the game against Brigham Young University.
Coach Wright looks pumped up tonight as she is dancing on the field as the announcer gets ready to introduce the players.
Bulldog Diamond looks even better than before with the addition of the grassy berm past the fence. Fans can now watch the game from the grass in any chairs that they may have brought. Tonight there are a couple of groups out on the berm enjoying another game of Bulldog softball. There is one group of ladies out there that brings a poster with a bull's-eye target, and puts it up whenever the `Dogs are up to bat. If a `Dog hits a home run and the ball hits the sign the player then signs her autograph on it. They do this at every home game.
While in the press box I heard of a group of dedicated student fans who have a unique cheer they do for a specific Bulldog pitcher. So naturally I had to talk to them. Phil and Scott are the two leaders of this group, and have been doing it for the past year now. These two fans are in the marching band, and love their Bulldog softball. They like to come to almost every game, and travel with the team when they can. Phil said, "we like to make the players feel appreciated." So every time sophomore Morgan Melloh is pitching in the circle these guys go crazy. They matched Melloh's name to the "Mickey Mouse" song. Instead of saying M.I.C.K.E.Y. they are saying M.O.R.G. A. N. They also have these giant presentation boards for other individual Bulldogs and Coach. Overall these guys seem to be the most active and committed student softball fans we have out their. They also have been recruiting what they call "newbie's" to come to Bulldog Diamond with them, and learn all the chants and other things they do.
Melloh has been pitching a great game tonight already recording five strikeouts before the fourth inning.
The weather got colder and colder as the game went on. Not wearing a sweatshirt was not a good idea on this night.
The game was a hard fought pitchers duel. The only two hits so far have been from BYU, and it's already into the sixth inning.
I want to thank all the committed fans out there for talking with me. Keep it up guys! Come out and support the dogs on Friday, March 6 as they take on Providence at 7:00 p.m. at Bulldog Diamond.
A Look Back on Opening Day...
Coach Wright did the first interview around 5:30 a.m. live from Bulldog Diamond. The Diamond Club then arrived at 6 a.m. and provided shirts for the crew. Geri and Steve from the Diamond Club did a great interview! They then practiced their batting and pitching to each other. If anyone is looking for slowpitch players I would definitely recommend drafting the two of them!
Russell Hayden from the ticket office then waited to talk about tickets for the game and for the season and about the new berm!
Jody Badorine, a freshman from Madera, was the first student-athlete to show up at the field at 6:45. TimeOut also make his appearance at 7 a.m.
Jody and TimeOut raced Clayton from home to first. Clayton won the foot race the first time. (Jody won the second race but it wasn't on air). TimeOut took a nasty fall in the race but Bulldog fans were glad to hear that their favorite Bulldog was ok!
Haley Perkins and Ryane Petersen then arrived and Ryane taught Dave how to throw a knuckleball and a curve. She then pitched to Clayton would couldn't touch her curveball! Haley was teaching him how to bat.
The final segment was shortstop Haley Gilleland would teach Clayton how to field ground balls as Morgan Melloh hit balls to them in the infield.
The show wrapped up at 9:30 a.m. which made it a long morning but everyone was still focusing on the home opener at 6 p.m.
I want to thank Great Day for coming out to the field and being so much fun to work with! I also want to thank our special guests that made appearances and every single student-athlete from softball that also made it out to the field before or in between classes.
The day then progressed and we moved closer to game time. I didn't realize how excited I was for the home opener until I got the field and Guy Haberman was already beginning his radio show on ESPN Radio in the press box and the field crew was lining the field. The weather couldn't have been any nicer either!
It was Heroes night and it was great to see all of the vehicles lined up outside of the field and former Bulldog Kerri Donis in her uniform.
The game was great! Worm was back announcing and the worm on the scoreboard was also at his best! The crowd sang its 2008 favorite Sweet Caroline in the fourth inning since the `Dogs run-ruled Utah Valley and the game ended after four-and-a-half with a 12-1 Bulldog victory.
The berm debuted and several fans took advantage of it and hopefully now that the rest of the Bulldog faithful saw how it worked they will migrate there as well and we can fill the berm next weekend!
I want to thank everyone that made yesterday happen from 4 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. They day couldn't have been any better!
To view some of the videos from the `Dogs on the Great Day s how log on to KMPH below: http://www.kmph.com/Global/category.asp?C=108757&nav=menu612_5.
Happy Birthday Kaylan!
Before today's game vs. Florida we found out it is freshman Kaylan Pollard's 19th birthday! This is the first birthday she has had away from her twin Ashley so the Fresno State softball team will like to say Happy Birthday to Ashley back in Fresno as well!!
We are in the hotel for the night and the team is in study hall then set to prepare for the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow the `Dogs take on Maryland at 3:30 p.m.
Don't forget the home opener is next Thursday at 6 p.m. vs. Utah Valley at Bulldog Diamond. Get your tickets now at gobulldogs.com.
National Pro Fastpitch
Several Fresno State players have been drafted and played pro softball. In the first-ever WFP Amateur Draft in 1996, the Bulldogs had five players selected: Julie Smith (Round 1, No. 6), Kim Maher (Round, No. 12), Shelly Stokes (Round 3, No. 13), Martha Noffsinger-O'Kelley (Round 3, No. 17) and Christa Yorke (Round 12, No. 72). Fresno State then had 13 more players drafted in the Senior Draft, Elite/Supplemental Draft and the National Team Draft from 1997-2001.
Then in the NFP Elite Draft in 2004, Randi Berg and Leslie Poole were selected. In the 2005 LPFA Senior Draft, Jamie Southern became the third Bulldog drafted at No. 1 along with Amanda Scott in 2000 (WPSL Senior Draft)and Nina Lindenberg also in 2000 (Elite/Supplemental Draft).
Five former Bulldogs have won Pro Championships as players, Amanda Scott in 2004, Randi Berg, Kim Maher and Nina Lindenberg in 2000 and Jamie Southern in 2005 and just last season in 2008.
Julie Smith and Carie Dever-Boaz both are currently coaches in the league.
The 2009 NPF Draft is right around the corner on Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. PST. To watch live streaming of the draft log on to www.softballchannel.com.
Eight freshmen will play in the first collegiate games of their careers tonight! Everyone is really excited to play a game finally! I will be calling the first game live for you on www.gobulldogs.com and provide live stats on gametracker as well. I would love to chat more but I'm in a rush! GO `DOGS!
From Dinuba, Calif., Tickey had her high school field dedicated in her honor early last month (Jan. 24). When asked who she wanted to be there she immediately said Fresno State head coach Margie Wright.
"I was so excited to be asked to be at the dedication," said Wright. "I looked up to her as a mentor. Just the history of what she accomplished was so inspiring as a young female athlete. I was so excited to be there. A lot of her community and former teammates were there and I got to introduce them."
Pacific Bus Trip
Remembering Kay Yow
Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled with the disease three times. She saw fellow NC State men's basketball coach Jimmy Valvano pass away after his brave battle with cancer in 1993. The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by Valvano and ESPN in raise money for cancer research. Yow was an integral part of the V Foundation as she established the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in partnership with The V Foundation in Dec. of 2007. Yow won the inaugural Jimmy V ESPY for Perseverance at the 2007 ESPY Awards.
She coached at NC State from 1974-2009 and guided her Wolfpack team to the 1998 Final Four and in 2002, became just the fifth female coach inducted in the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Her overall career record was 737-344 over 38 seasons of collegiate coaching. She guided her squads to 20 NCAA Tournaments, 11 Sweet 16 appearances and one trip to the Elite Eight. Yow collected five ACC regular season championships, four ACC tournament titles, had 21, 20-win seasons and 29 total winning seasons. Yow also led the U.S. women's basketball team to a gold medal in the 1988 games.
Yow's Impact on Fresno State:
"I was really fortunate to get to be a basketball official for her team on several occasions and what a classy person she was," Wright said. "Even though you are an official you are certainly able to identify to the character of the coaches and Kay Yow was extremely impressive to me as a young former basketball player. I believe its extremely sad when the sports world loses such a fine mentor and role model and even though I hadn't see her in many years, it still leaves an empty space in my heart for the young women that will not have the opportunity to learn from such an outstanding coach."
Former Fresno State Women's Basketball Player Erica Henry:
Several coaches were in and out of my house daily trying to convince me to come to their school. Coach Kay Yow showed up and my mom was in shock and aw.... She couldn't believe that such a legendary coach was on her doorstep and about to sit on her couch. My mom asked to take pictures and sign autographs and I was so embarrassed. Once Coach Yow left, my mother told me that I should go to her school....that was before meeting Coach Wiggins and his staff.
`Til this day my mom still has that picture and autograph in her scrapbook. I then narrowed my school choices down to: Miami, Fresno State, NC State and Memphis. I can remember calling coach Yow and letting her know that I wanted to visit because they were in my top five. Even though I didn't choose that school because it wasn't a great fit for me, Coach Yow still had a special place in my heart.
During the 2006-07 basketball season, I found out that we were hosting the NCAA Regional. I never knew that I would be reunited with Coach Yow but in March of 2007, I found out what teams would be in which Regional. Coach Yow and her team would be playing the Save Mart center for the NCAA tournament. NC State practiced in the North Gym the day before playing. Tierre and I walked over to see practice and for me to talk to coach. I was a little hesitant to walk up and talk to her because it had been a while since I had seen her.
I stopped her and I said, "Coach Yow...How are you doing? Do you remember me?"
"Well I don't forget faces, I forget names," said Coach Yow.
"It's me Erica Henry from Louisiana," I said after laughing.
"WOW...it's been a long time and my you've gotten thicker," she smiled and said.
We had a fairly long conversation before she had to get to the bus. That was the last time I had contact with her. When I found out she passed away it hurt a lot because I actually knew her. She was such a courageous person and I admired her for the fight she had.
My mom didn't know about the news that shocked the basketball world. When I broke the sad news to her she cried. My mom told me she would never forget the little white haired lady that stepped on her doorstep. She went and grabbed the scrapbook, and stared at that picture and autograph that she will forever and always have.
A moment of silence will be held before tipoff at the Fresno State women's basketball game tomorrow at 7 p.m. vs. San Jose State at the Save Mart Center. The coaching staff will also be wearing pink ribbons in honor of Coach Yow and Breast Cancer Awareness.
To view more information on the late coach please visit the NC State official athletic website: www.gopack.com.
About the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund
About The V Foundation
Graham Hays Ranks `Dogs No. 12
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association ranked the Bulldogs No 14 last week and today the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Preseason Top 25 ranked them No. 12. In the preseason several other media outlets such as website and blogs also create their own top 25.
Today we will take a look at the Top 20 by Graham Hays, a writer for ESPN.com. Hays has been counting down his top 20 on the season by posting one team a day. Last week Hays put the `Dogs at No. 12. Click on the link above to see what he had to say about the 2009 team and where he ranked Bulldog opponents such as Houston and Nevada.
Welcome Bulldog fans to the first-ever Fresno State softball blog! I will be blogging for you throughout the season which is quickly approaching (less than two weeks away)! In the softball blog you will find stories that you won't find on the front page of gobulldogs.com but that we find noteworthy about the program. With the team starting practice in Jan., there has a been a lot that has happened to prepare for the season that I will talk about in the upcoming days in preparing you for the season opener on Feb. 6 vs. Wisconsin in Cathedral City, Calif. I will be traveling with the team so you will get stories on the road from both myself and several of the student-athletes as well. Stayed tuned in to the softball blog!