No. 23 'Dogs Capture WAC Regular-Season Title
May 6, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The No. 23 Fresno State softball team jumped out early and never looked back after locking up the 2006 Western Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 9-1 road victory over San Jose State.
Hitting three home runs and a trio of doubles in their 14-hit barrage, the Bulldogs also turned three double plays en route to posting a final 12-3 league mark.
Freshman hurler Merryann Barr threw a four-hitter and allowed one run (unearned) while walking five and striking out six for her sixth win on the year.
Fresno State jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after a half inning of play. Highlighting the first was a two-run home run by freshman designated player Robin Mackin and a solo home run from sophomore first baseman Kristin Sylvester.
The Bulldogs scored two in the third when Barr connected for a two-out RBI double. In the fourth Mackin also hit a two-out RBI double before the 'Dogs scored their seventh run in the fifth on a Spartan error.
In the seventh, junior centerfielder Shannon Garvin hit a two-run home run to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Spartans would get on the board via a Bulldog fielding error but not without controversy. With two outs, a solid throw from senior All-America shortstop Christina Clark to Sylvester had the batter beat but was ruled safe and allowed SJSU to avoid the shutout.
San Jose State utilized three pitchers as the Bulldogs chased starter Courtney Lewis out of the circle after 2.2 innings of work. Falling to 10-7 overall, she allowed five runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. Middle reliever Nicole Luna-Pickens yielded two runs on five hits and struck out two before Regina Farfan pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout.
Sophomore second baseman Jenna Cervantez made school history when she became the first Bulldog to participate in on all three double plays turned (third, sixth and seventh inning) today. The school's single-game record for double plays is four (vs. Pacific in 11 innings, Feb. 28, 1989). In addition, the team tied the WAC's single-game record for double plays turned in a league game as well. Fresno State has tied the WAC record for the second time in the four times it has happened as the last time the Bulldogs turned three double plays in a conference contest was against New Mexico in 1993.
"I am very proud of this team," Fresno State softball head coach Margie Wright said. "To be such a young team, they have done a great job. It truly has been a team effort. I'm very proud of the fact that different individuals have stepped up in many different occasions. That's what you need to be a good team and we're going to keep working hard to get better."
Winning its third straight WAC championship and ninth in the last 11 years, Fresno State enters the WAC Softball Championship Tournament, which will be held Thu.-Sun., May 11-13, as the No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs will play at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday. Tournament tickets can be purchased online at www.gobulldogs.com or through the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-3647.
The tournament standings entering the week is as follow:
Note: The No. 3/4 seed will be determined in Fresno prior to the start of the WAC tournament.