Feb. 4, 2014
By Geoff Thurner
FRESNO, Calif. - Three days from the first pitch of the season, the Fresno State softball team was picked second in the MW Preseason Poll announced Tuesday.
The `Dogs received two first-place votes and 56 points overall among the votes of MW head coaches and trailed only San Diego State which claimed 63 points and the remaining seven first-place votes.
Other team positions follow: Boise State (third, 42), Colorado State (fourth-tie, 38), San Jose State (fourth-tie, 38), Nevada (six, 36), UNLV (seventh, 27), New Mexico (eighth, 13) and Utah State (ninth, 11).
Last year, the Bulldogs tied for second place in the MW with an 11-7 mark and went 30-24 overall in their first season under head coach Trisha Ford. SDSU won the MW with a 13-5 record, while San Jose State also was an NCAA Tournament qualifier after it won the WAC regular season and conference tournament titles.
The future looks even brighter this year for Fresno State as it welcomes back starters at seven of the eight field positions, and 2013's top three pitchers.
All four of last year's All-MW picks are also back - senior infielder Vonnie Martin, junior outfielder Brenna Moss and sophomore pitcher Jill Compton and catcher Paige Gumz - while senior infielder Brooke Ortiz was an All-WAC choice in 2011.
Later this week, Fresno State kicks off the season vs. returning Pac-12 Champion and No. 8 Oregon this Friday, February 7 at 1:30 p.m. with the first of five Kajikawa Classic tournament games in Tempe, Ariz.
Afterward, the `Dogs also face NCAA returnee N.C. State on Friday afternoon; returning Southern Conference champion Appalachian State and UC Riverside on Saturday morning; and WCWS returnee and No. 7 Arizona State on Sunday morning.
More Kajikawa Classic tournament information is available at the www.TheSunDevils.com website.
In upcoming weeks, area fans can cheer on their favorite team at home at Bulldog Diamond at a pair of tournaments - the Fresno State Kick-Off (February 14-16) and Fresno State Classic (March 13-16).
Season tickets are available via the www.GoBulldogs.com website or by calling (559) 278-DOGS (3647) weekdays during normal business hours.
2014 MW Softball Preseason Poll (First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. San Diego State (7) - 63
2. Fresno State (2) - 56
3. Boise State - 42
4t. Colorado State - 38
4t.San José State - 38
6. Nevada - 36
7. UNLV - 27
8. New Mexico - 13
9. Utah State - 11
"Catch the Wave!" - Follow the Fresno State softball team on Twitter at @FSAthletics
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