May 6, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack 7-3 on a warm Friday night at Bulldog Diamond.
"We played very well, but need to play even better tomorrow," head coach Margie Wright said. "We need to keep taking care of our own business and sustain it for seven innings in every game."
Fresno State (30-14, 14-5 WAC) bolted to a 7-0 lead, pounded nine hits and cruised to victory behind Michelle Moses' 10 strikeouts and 16th complete game of the year.
Haley Gilleland, who will be honored along with her fellow seniors Nicole Angene, Ashley Cox and Caitlin Stiglich before Saturday's doubleheader that starts at 1 p.m., chipped in two hits, two runs and two stolen bases to tie her career-best single season stolen base mark at 23 - just four shy of Karen Tabor's 31-year-old school record of 27 during the 1980 campaign.
"We have two more to go tomorrow and we have to keep doing the little things right to win ball games," Gilleland said.
Friday evening's victory helped the Dogs keep pace in the Western Athletic Conference title race as New Mexico State edged Boise State 11-10 to put the Bulldogs' within striking distance of a three-way regular season conference championship.
The Dogs must win two more games against the Wolf Pack tomorrow and needs New Mexico State and Boise State to split their Saturday doubleheader in Las Cruces, N.M. for a tri-championship between the top three programs in the WAC.
However, for Fresno State to earn a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed in next week's WAC Tournament at Bulldog Diamond, the Dogs must still beat Nevada twice on Saturday, but have either N.M. State or Boise State sweep the doubleheader.
"We have been hitting the ball the better and scoring runs as a team," Moses said. "We have to keep it up to finish strong."
Fresno State has won 10 Western Athletic Conference titles in the past 15 seasons.
Fresno State sports a WAC-leading NCAA RPI of 32 with six Top 25 wins this season and a 4-1 mark against schools that advanced to the 2010 Women's College World Series.
Haley Gilleland has stolen 82 bases in her four-year Bulldog career, which is 31 more than the second best mark in school history.
New men's basketball coach Rodney Terry threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's game and tweeted (@RodneyTerry) that he had a "great evening at Bulldog Diamond" and that he loved watching Fresno State softball.
"We Are You Team!" - Fresno State will honor its four seniors (Nicole Angene, Ashley Cox, Haley Gilleland and Caitlin) as the Dogs host the Nevada Wolf Pack for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. to close out regular season play. All kids receive free admission to the game. The Bulldogs will also serve as the host school for the 2011Western Athletic Conference Tournament May 11-14. Tickets are available by calling 278-DOGS or visiting the 2011 WAC Tournament Central. You can always stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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