A 13-run first inning propels the `Dogs to a five-inning triumph and its first conference win.
The `Dogs forced the Ducks to eight innings in 10-9 loss, then blanked the WolfPack, 1-0.
Fresno State faces three NCAA Tournament returnees among its five opening weekend tilts.
In non-conference play, the `Dogs will face five of last year's eight WCWS advancers in various tourneys.
Head Coach Trisha Ford and the 'Dogs return a bulk of the talent from last year's MW runner-up squad.
On June 18, 2012, the Bulldog softball program wisely tapped Trisha Ford to become the fourth head coach in its rich and illustrious history.
She arrived at Fresno State after serving the previous nine years at former World Series advancer and Pac-12 champion Stanford, including four seasons as the associate head coach and personal mentor to several of its greatest pitchers.
In her first season in the Central Valley, the 'Dogs were one of the West Coast's best at creating runs and likewise limiting opponents as such. Her 2013 squad ended the year with a 30-24 mark overall, and its 11-7 MW record was second-best in the conference.
In NCAA categories, Fresno State stood proudly among the national leaders in triples (12th, 0.31 per game), fielding (24th, .971) and stolen bases (29th, 1.61 p/g).
Outfielder Brenna Moss topped the nation in triples per game (0.18) after she stroked nine during the season - second-most in school history. The Bakersfield product also ranked 15th in the country in stolen bases (0.67 p/g) and 72nd in the toughest to strike out category (once per 16.3 at-bats).
Following her lead, four other Bulldogs stood top 100 in various categories - infielder Maria Sio (sacrifice hits, fourth, 0.35 p/g), pitcher Jillian Compton (shutouts, 35th, 7), pitcher Hannah Harris (saves, 72nd, 2; walks, 92nd, 1.81 p/7 innings) and outfielder Michelle Solomon (triples, 95th, 3).
Among MW rolls, the team was also easy to spot as it led categories in fielding (.971) and stolen bases (1.61 p/g), and stood second in ERA (2.66) and triples (0.31 p/g). Likewise, individual MW season leaders included Moss (triples, stolen bases), Harris (saves, 2), Compton (shutouts), and Sio (sacrifice hits).
In return for their excellence on the field, Fresno State celebrated a league-leading four All-MW selections (Compton, Moss, catcher Paige Gumz and infielder Vonnie Martin).
The 'Dogs were also one of the nation's most exciting teams on the base paths as it broke the school record for stolen bases in a season (87), while Moss set new individual bests for a season (34) and in a game (3) vs. New Mexico.
Compton also added a chapter to the pitching record books with the 'Dogs' 70th no-hitter in school history and first by a freshman pitcher since 2006. The freshman right-hander one-hit No. 6 Cal for six innings during the year and ended the slate with 21 scoreless innings in MW play en route to her second MW Pitcher of the Week laurel.
Another freshman pitcher, Taylor Langdon, also was a MW Pitcher of the Week selection, and infielder Vonnie Martin won a pair of MW Player of the Week nods.
The team's hard work off the field was equally recognized with nine MW All-Academic nods (Stesha Brazil, Harris, Taylor Langdon, Martin, Kelly Megee, Moss, Brooke Ortiz, Runge and Whitney Smith) and one Academic All-District selection (Runge).
Last summer, her experience was wisely tapped by USA Softball as an assistant coach at the 2013 ISF X Jr. Women's World Championships. The Americans went 8-1 in the event with its only loss in in the tournament final to Japan en route to the silver medal. U.S. pitchers didn't allow a run in the first eight games that included one no hitter, five one-hitters and two, two-hitters, and overall sported a 0.45 ERA for the tourney with 61 strikeouts, three walks and 16 hits allowed in 46 innings.
In her nine prior years with the Cardinal, Ford helped guide Stanford to its greatest run in school history and a 385-155 (.713) overall record. Among its nine NCAA Tournament trips, the Cardinal made six Super Regional and one Women's College World Series (2004) appearances, and ended the season ranked top 10 four times.
At Stanford, Ford served as the primary pitching coach and worked with the infielders while also being responsible for recruiting, community outreach, camps and clinics.
Ford helped Stanford average 43 wins per season and mentored three of the best hurlers in school history.
In her latter seasons on 'The Farm', she guided Cardinal pitcher Teagan Gerhart to an 80-32 overall record and 2.14 ERA. After those three seasons of work under Ford, Gerhart ranked third in the Stanford record books in career strikeouts (628) and victories and fourth in shutouts (23).
In 2012, a year in which Ford helped lead the Cardinal to a 40-19 record and a No. 20 ranking to end the season, Gerhart ranked ninth nationally with 32 victories.
Before Gerhart took over in the circle in 2010, pitcher Missy Penna enjoyed the most decorated career of any Cardinal pitcher in program history, and it all came under Ford's watch.
Penna was a two-time NFCA All-American (2008 and 2009) and an Academic All-American in 2009. She set new school records in wins (119), strikeouts (1,267), shutouts (50) and innings pitched (1,086.1) while owning a 1.84 career ERA.
In 2004, her first season at Stanford, Ford helped direct the team to a 49-19 record, a regional title and its second appearance in the Women's College World Series. Under Ford's guidance, All-America pitcher Dana Sorensen set new program bests for wins (34) and strikeouts (358), while posting a 1.41 ERA.
The next year Ford helped lead Stanford to a 43-16 record and its first-ever Pac-12 Championship.
Prior to joining Stanford's coaching staff, Ford spent two seasons as the head coach at her alma mater - Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. In 2003, Ford's squad finished the season with a 25-27 record and a .481 winning percentage, the best in school history. Prior to being named head coach, Ford served as an assistant at Saint Mary's in 2001.
Arguably the best softball player in Saint Mary's history, Ford, the former Trisha Dean, is the only female student-athlete in school history to have her number (9) retired.
In the spring of 2007, Ford was among six former athletes and coaches to be inducted into the Saint Mary's College Hall of Fame. Ford graduated from Saint Mary's with a degree in politics in 1999. A native of Fremont, Calif., she earned nine varsity letters in softball, volleyball and basketball during her prep career at American High School. An All-East Bay pick as a senior, Ford was also a four-time All-Mission Valley Athletic League selection.
Ford and her husband, Eddie, married in the summer of 2005, and have two children, Emma (6) and Eddie (2).