Feb. 12, 2014
Up Next: Fresno State Kick-Off
Dates: Friday-Sunday, Feb. 14-16
Location: Bulldog Diamond, Fresno, Calif.
Radio: ESPN 790 AM The Deuce (Both `Dog games on Fri. & Sun.)
Online Video Broadcast Link: http://www.gobulldogs.com/videos
Teams: Fresno State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara
Tourney Schedule: http://www.gobulldogs.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/14-kickoff.html
9:30 am UCSB vs. CSUB
11:45 am Sacramento State vs. UCSB
2 pm UC Riverside vs. CSUB
^4:15 pm Fresno State vs. Sac. State
^6:30 pm Fresno St. vs. UC Riverside
9 am Sacramento State vs. CSUB
11:45 am UCSB vs. CSUB
2 pm UC Riverside vs. Sacramento State
4:15 pm Southern Utah vs. UCSB
6:30 pm Fresno State vs. Southern Utah
9 am Southern Utah vs. UC Riverside
11:15 am Sacramento State vs. UC Riverside
^1:30 pm Fresno State vs. CSUB
^3:45 pm Fresno State vs. UCSB
TICKET PRICES (All-Tourney - 3-Day / Daily)
Adult Lower Box $30 / $15
Adult Upper Reserved $20 / $10
Adult G.A. (Outfield Berm) $14 / $7
*Senior/Youth Upper Reserved $14 / $7
*Senior/Youth G.A. (OF Berm) $10 / $5
*Youth are ages 5-18; Seniors are ages 65 and older;
^Fresno State students get free admission with a current FS student ID for seating in section D.
WHAT'S UP THIS WEEK
Looking ahead to week two of the softball season, Fresno State (3-2, 0-0) returns home to host the Fresno State Kick-Off tournament this weekend against Southern Utah (1-5) and four in-state foes (CSU Bakersfield (2-4), Sacramento State (0-0), UC Riverside (0-4) and UC Santa Barbara (2-2)), this Friday-Sunday, February 14-16.
Fans can catch 15 games over the course of three days at Bulldog Diamond. Friday's and Sunday's four Bulldog games will be broadcast locally by 790AM ESPN The Deuce, and every Bulldog game will be video-streamed online at the http://www.gobulldogs.com/videos website.
Fans are encouraged to use social media to invite the President and First Lady to Friday's home opener with the hashtag #Obama1stPitch.
The 44th president of the United States is already scheduled to speak in the Central Valley that day concerning the area's record-breaking drought and accompanying federal aid efforts.
Since the invite was cordially issued Monday afternoon, local newspapers and TV stations have picked up the story as well as ABC News website and ABC radio.
SPECIAL TICKET/MARKETING PROMOTIONS
Fri. (2/14), vs. Sacramento State/UC Riverside, 4:15 p.m./6:30 p.m. - Fans can get 2-for-1 ticket deal at the door, and couples can take photos for free at a special `Sweetheart Photo Booth'. After the game, fans can meet the Fresno State players at a special autograph session.
Sat. (2/15), vs. Southern Utah, 6:30 p.m. - Camper Reunion Night.
Sun., (2/16) vs. CSU Bakersfield / UC Santa Barbara, 1:30 p.m./3:45 p.m. - Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day means all Fresno State employees with a valid staff ID will get in for free, and President Joseph I. Castro will throw out the first pitch before the CSU Bakersfield game - an appropriate selection for President's Day Weekend. After the tourney finale vs. UC Santa Barbara, kids can run the bases.
LAST WEEK'S RECAP
Last weekend, the `Dogs (3-2) opened their 37th campaign in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and enjoyed a 1-0 win over NCAA Tournament returnee and ACC Tournament champion N.C. State, 11-3 victory over returning Southern Conference Champion Appalachian State, and 8-1 win over UC Riverside.
In the season opener vs. No. 8 Oregon, the `Dogs almost topped the returning Pac-12 Champions after it jumped out to a 7-2 lead after two innings. After UO retook the lead, Fresno State re-tied the game, 9-9, in the bottom of the seventh on a Whitney Smith single, then had the bases loaded again in the eighth inning before ultimately falling, 10-9. In its tourney finale, Fresno State lost to returning World Series advancer and No. 7 Arizona State and All-America senior Dallas Escobedo, 7-0.
Three Bulldog sophomore pitchers ended last week's trip to Tempe with sub-2.00 ERA's - Jill Compton (2-1, 1.75, 16 IP, 9 SO, 5 BB, .138 OppBA), Taylor Langdon (1.24, 0-0, 5.2, 1 SO, 3 BB, .238 OppBA), and Kiley Shae Aldridge (1.24, 0-1, 5.2 IP, 3 SO, 2 BB, .222 OppBA).
Offensively for the five-game set, three Bulldogs topped .300 - senior center fielder Brenna Moss (.500, 7 H, RBI, 5 BB), senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (.400, 6 H, 4 RBI, 4 BB) and junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (.353, 6 H, 5 RBI, SB).
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Former All-MW honoree and sophomore right-hander Jill Compton led the MW conference this week in lowest opposing batting (.138) and starts (3) and stood fourth in innings pitched (16). Two other sophomore pitchers - Kiley Shae Aldridge and Taylor Langdon - were tied for fourth in ERA (1.24).
At the plate, two `Dogs were spotted - senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (RBI, second, 9) and All-MW center fielder and junior Brenna Moss (stolen bases, second, 3; runs, fifth, 7; batting, eighth, .500).
Team-wise, the `Dogs might have faced the MW's toughest opening week schedule, but still paced the conference in lowest opposing batting average (.209) and fewest hits allowed (27) and ranked second in ERA (2.68). Fresno State hitters also led MW offensive categories for triples (2) and stood second in stolen bases (8), fourth in walks 922) and fifth in runs (29).
The `Dogs own notable advantages in the all-time series vs. CSU Bakersfield (3-2), Sacramento State (32-11), Southern Utah (16-4), UC Riverside (11-1) and UC Santa Barbara (62-12).
After wins over UC Riverside each of the last three years, Fresno State sports an 11-game series win streak. In other recent meetings last year, UC Santa Barbara won 5-2 in 2013, and the `Dogs split with CSU Bakersfield (3-2 FS win; 5-4 CSUB win) and Sacramento State (3-2 Sac State win, 3-0 Fresno State win). Southern Utah won its last meeting with Fresno State in 2007 (1-0) to end an eight-game `Dog win streak between 1996-2003.
Head Coach Trisha Ford owns a 1-0 mark in home openers with the Bulldogs after the `Dogs topped UTEP, 10-2, in five innings last year in the Fresno State Kick-Off. In her two previous years as a head coach at St. Mary's, she also defeated San Francisco State in 2002 (1-0) and lost to Humboldt State in 2003 (8-1) in home-opening action.
2013 FRESNO STATE KICK-OFF HIGHLIGHTS
Last February, the `Dogs kicked off Trisha Ford's first games as the helm with a 4-1 record in the Fresno State Kick-Off Tournament. The `Dogs began the weekend with a 10-2 five inning win over UTEP and 7-3 decision over UC Riverside. On the second day, Fresno State split with a 5-3 loss to Southern Miss 5-3 in eight innings and 4-2 victory over UC Davis. The Bulldogs concluded the weekend with a 3-2 win over Sacramento State. Team-wise for the weekend, the offense combined to hit .304 with 41 hits, four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 19 RBI.
In the second day, Brooke Ortiz tallied a game-high three hits in a 4-2 win against UC Davis, while Stesha Brazil hit a solo homer and Michelle Solomon tripled in the team's 5-3 loss to Southern Mississippi.
In the circle, Jill Compton logged three complete games en route to a 3-1 mark and 1.75 ERA for the tournament.
SIZING UP THE 'DOGS IN 2014
Second-year Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford 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.
Last year in Ford's first season, the Bulldogs went 30-24 overall and tied for second in the MW Conference with an 11-7 mark.
NEW TO THE FOLD
Head Coach Trisha Ford and the Bulldogs look for their seven-member newcomer class to make an immediate impact in the spring of 2014.
Her first recruiting class is entirely from California and includes catcher Niki Kaleialii (Oakley), infielder Liza Liddell (La Verne), and outfielders (Melissa Gilbert (Merced), M.J. Jimenez (Newark), Alanna Layton (Acton), Christina Rodriguez (Livingston) and Kierra Willis (Pleasant Hill).
Kaleialii helped led her team to three Bay Valley Athletic titles and was a two-time captain; Liddell was a four-time all-league selection at third base and shortstop; Jimenez was a three-time All-League pick; Gilbert helped lead Merced High School to three CCC titles; Layton was a CIF All-League First-Team choice; Rodriguez was a multiple all-conference choice; and Willis was a four-time first-team all-league selection.
Willis started all five games opening weekend in Tempe, while Liddell made three appearances at second base. Jimenez pinch-ran ran vs. No. 8 Oregon and Riverside, while Kaleialii saw time behind the plate vs. UC Riverside.
WEEKEND SCOUTING REPORT
Sacramento State (www.hornetsports.com): In their second season in the Big Sky Conference, the Hornets (0-0) return 16 letterwinners, seven starters and all four pitchers from last year's team that went 22-22 overall and placed fourth in the league (7-8). Junior Caitlin Brooks was a First-Team All-Big Sky Conference selection last year with a 1.81 ERA, while senior Taylor Stroud led the Big Sky with a 1.27 ERA. Junior Paige Martin paced the team in batting last year (.336) with 44 starts in right field. Catcher Kortney Solis played in 43 out of 44 games as a freshman in 2013 and set a school record for longest reaching base streak (16 games). Sophomore infielder Alyssa Vanderdrink topped the team in 2013 in homers (4) and sacrifice bunts (12). First-year head coach Lori Perez served nine years as a Hornet assistant coach and four years as an infield starter. During her assistant coach tenure, the team posted a 237-216 mark from 2005-13, and she mentored 13 all-conference selections as the team's pitching coach. As a player, she was a two-time team captain and All-Big West selection.
UC Riverside (www.GoHighlanders.com): Last week in Tempe, UC Riverside dropped decisions to Fresno State (8-1), New Mexico (11-10), Western Michigan (3-2) and No. 7 Arizona State (11-1 (5)). The Highlanders went 20-35 last year and sported a 4-20 mark in the Big West. UCR lost its two top hitters from 2013 in Kayla White (.382, 65 H, 11 HR, 33 RBI) and Ariel Shore (.305, 51 H, 11 RBI), but return senior outfielder Dionne Anderson (.300, 45H, 7 2B). Last year, junior right-hander Alyssa Razo (9-15, 31G, 131.2 IP, 131.2 IP) led the team in wins, strikeouts (54) and ERA (4.52), and sophomore right-hander Alyssa Ercolano (6-11, 5.12) paced the squad in appearances (33). Head Coach Linda Garza returns for her second season after a stint at Wright State that included a 2010 Horizon League Tournament title and NCAA Tournament invite.
Southern Utah University (www.SUUtbirds.com): Last week at home, the Thunderbirds (1-5) topped Nebraska Omaha (5-1), and lost to Utah State (8-0 (5)), NCAA Tournament returnee BYU (10-2 (5)), Nevada (4-2), East Carolina (6-3) and Grand Canyon (7-3). SUU return nine letterwinners and seven starters from last year's third-place Big Sky finishers that went 18-34 overall, but lost its top two hitters - Kelsey Bryant (.331, 54 H, 5 HR, 36 RBI) and Mikkel Griffin (.305, 50 H, 7 HR, 24 RBI). The pitching staff returns junior right-hander Ariel Hart (11-20, 4.28, 186.2 IP, 123 SO, 69 BB), the team leader in ERA and strikeouts, and sophomore right-hander Ashley Ostler (6.54, 3-4, 55.2 IP, 32 SO, 18 BB). Head coach Kyle Magnusson returns for his fourth season after leading the Thunderbirds to three consecutive conference tournament appearances since taking over the program in 2010.
CSU Bakersfield (www.gorunners.com): The Roadrunners (2-4) are in their first year in the Western Athletic Conference, and last week posted two wins at home over Dayton (1-0, 4-1) and lost to No. 11 Texas A&M (14-8), UCSB (6-0) and Pittsburgh (4-3, 7-5). Sophomore Amber Mills was a 2013 All-PCSC Second-Team honoree as a pitcher/utility player, and junior Kelsie Monroe was an all-conference honorable mention. Centerfielder Laura King led the team last year in batting (.333) and slugging (.424). Third-year head coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler led the Roadrunners to a 15-34 mark in 2013 and their best-ever PCSC record (10-14) and fourth-place placing in the Coastal Division. As a player, the four-year infield/outfield starter helped the Bruins to the 1999 NCAA title. Afterward she worked as an assistant coach at Oregon State and helped the team to a Pac-12 title in 2005 and World Series trip in 2006.
UC Santa Barbara (http://ucsb.prestosports.com): Last week at home, the Gauchos (2-2) topped Dayton (9-8) and CSU Bakersfield (6-0) and lost twice to No. 11 Texas A&M (9-1, 8-0). UCSB returns 14 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's squad that went 31-24 overall and tied for fourth in the Big West (12-12). The team's top returnees include junior utility player Shelby Wisdom (.299, 50 H, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 136 SO), sophomore outfielder Arianna Palomares (.307, 50 H, 12 RBI), and senior infielder Kathryn Pilpil (.287, 27 R, 43 H, 19 RBI). Among the team's losses to graduation, Jessica Soria led the team in batting (.330), hits (62), and stolen bases (22) last season. Seventh-year head coach Brie Galicinao led UCSB to its second 30-win season in her career and claimed her second Big West Conference Coach of the Year (and is the first UCSB coach to twice collect the accolade).
REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
Last week, senior first baseman Stesha Brazil climbed a spot to ninth all-time for the `Dogs in career homers (17) with her three-run, first-inning blast vs. No. 8 Oregon.
Last year, Moss smashed the school stolen bases record with her 34 swipes - seven better than the former mark (27) shared by Haley Gilleland (2011) and Karen Tabor. Moss's nine triples was also second-best in `Dog history behind All-American Laura Berg (11, 1995), while two others stood top 15 - Maria Sio (sacrifices, 14th-tie, 19) and Vonnie Martin (hitting streak, eighth-tie, 14 games).
Sophomore pitcher Jill Compton also made history with the program's 70th no-hitter vs. St. Mary's last February. Her seven-inning, five-strikeout performance also made her the Bulldog freshman to achieve the feat since 2006. Among other all-time Bulldog game bests, Moss's three stolen bases vs. New Mexico tied a school record.
ANOTHER STACKED SCHEDULE
Among the Bulldogs' 56 games this year against 35 opponents, its non-conference slates features five WCWS returnees in 2013 national runner-up Tennessee, Arizona State, Nebraska, Texas and Washington.
In the opening months of the year, Fresno State will face another Super Regional advancer (Oregon), a seventh NCAA Regional Finalist (N.C. State) and five other NCAA tourney qualifiers (Arizona, BYU, Houston, San Diego State and San Jose State).
Overall, the `Dogs will play 17 contests against 12 squads that advanced to last year's 64-team NCAA tournament field (not to mention four teams that have combined for 12 national titles in their school histories).
PRIDE OF THE VALLEY
Not only do 23 of the 24 members of the Bulldog roster hail from California, but many proudly call the Central Valley their home.
Two players are from the Fresno area directly - seniors Kapri Angotti (Clovis) and Kim Fisher (Fresno) - and also played their initial collegiate seasons at Fresno City College. Two others' hometowns are less than an hour's drive away - freshman Melissa Gilbert (Merced) and sophomore Bria Kennedy (Hanford) - and two other starters are from the Central Valley, senior Stesha Brazil (Turlock) and junior Brenna Moss (Bakersfield).
Looking northward, seven players matriculated from the Bay Area - freshmen Christina Rodriguez (Livingston), Niki Kaleialii (Oakley), M.J. Jimenez (Newark) and Kierra Willis (Pleasant Hill), sophomores Kiley Shae Aldridge (Lompoc) and Whitney Smith (Auburn) and junior Brooke Ortiz (Lodi).
Ten players hail from the nation's most fertile softball fields (Southern California) - freshmen Alanna Layton (Acton) and Liza Liddell (La Verne),sophomores Jill Compton (Oceano); Hannah Harris (Santa Barbara), Taylor Langdon (Glendora) and Paige Gumz (Chino Hills) and juniors Michelle Solomon (Beaumont) Maria Sio (Lake Forest), Kelly Megee (Riverside) and Taylor Green (Chino Hills).
The team's only non-California resident is senior Vonnie Martin (Plano, Texas) who is only a 22-hour 1,556-mile drive from Fresno.
ON PACE IN THE CLASSROOM
After a successful season on the field and in the classroom, six Fresno State softball players were named to the 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete team that was released last October.
The group of senior infielder Brooke Ortiz, junior infielder Kelly Megee and catcher/infielder Taylor Green, sophomore pitcher/utility player Hannah Harris and Taylor Langdon and former senior outfielder Diane Runge were selected based on their +3.50 grade point averages for the 2012-13 academic year.
The six-member class tied the largest in Bulldog softball history, and are among 39 Fresno State players that have received similar honors since the 1997-98 school year. Runge and Ortiz are three- and two-time honorees and the 10th and 11th Bulldogs to claim multiple honors. In addition, Runge and Ortiz were CoSIDA Academic All-District First-Team choices in 2013 and `12, respectively.
Last spring, nine `Dogs picked up Academic All-Mountain West honors - Harris, Langdon, Megee, Ortiz, Runge, senior catcher/infielder Stesha Brazil and infielder/outfielder Vonnie Martin, junior center fielder Brenna Moss and sophomore infielder Whitney Smith.
Overall in school history, the softball team has racked up 108 academic all-conference honors since it began WAC play in 1993 and MW action in 2013.
In 2013, the Fresno State coaching staff was excited to see the `Dogs rank top 100 in several national team statistical categories, including triples (12th, 0.31 p/g), fielding (24th, .971), stolen bases (29th, 1.61 p/g), double plays (71st, 0.33 p/g) and ERA (73rd, 2.66).
Individually, several `Dogs were also easy to spot on NCAA charts last spring, as junior outfielder Brenna Moss led the nation in triples per game (0.18 average) and stood 15th in stolen bases (0.67 p/g) and 72nd in the toughest to strike out category (1:16.3 at-bats).
Two others hitters stood top 100 - junior infielder Maria Sio (sacrifice hits, fourth, 0.35 p/g) and junior outfielder Michelle Solomon (triples, 95th, 3) - as well as a pair of sophomore pitchers, Jill Compton (shutouts, 35th, 7) and Hannah Harris (walks, 92nd, 1.81 p/7 innings).
ON THE MW CHARTS
Last year, junior outfielder Brenna Moss not only led the league in triples (9) and stolen bases (stolen bases, 34), as did junior shortstop Maria Sio (sacrifice bunts, 19) and senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (fielding, 1.000).
In other MW stats, Moss stood second in runs (42), and ninth in hits (54), and others ranked top 10 included Brazil (homers, fourth, 10; putouts, fourth, 368; stolen bases, fourth, 15), Michelle Solomon (RBI, fifth, 38; triples, fifth, 3; stolen bases, eighth, 9), Brooke Ortiz (hitting, ninth, .361) and Whitney Smith (assists, second, 11; walks, ninth, 21).
On the MW pitching charts, all three `Dog returnees stood top 10 in multiple categories - sophomores Jill Compton (starts, second, 31; appearances, third, 39; strikeouts, fourth, 144; opposing batting, fourth, .242; innings, fourth, 193.2; wins, fifth, 15; ERA, seventh, 300), Hannah Harris (saves, first-tied, 2; ERA, fifth, 2.37; games finished, fifth, 10; games in relief, sixth, 10; opposing batting, seventh, .259; wins, ninth, 9) and Taylor Langdon (ERA, second, 1.92; games in relief, third, 13; games finished, third, 12; fewest walks allowed, third, 12; fewest hits allowed, eighth, 57).
MORE ONLINE SOFTBALL INFORMATION
Fresno State Softball Twitter: @FresnoStateSB
NCAA Playing Rules: http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4233-2012-2013-womens-softball-rules-2-year-publication.aspx
NCAA Championships Handbooks: http://ncaa.org/wps/portal/ncaahome?
NCAA Record Books: http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/SB_Records/2012/DivI.pdf Mountain West Conference: www.theMWC.com
National Professional Fastpitch League (NPF): www.profastpitch.com
International Softball Federation: www.internationalsoftball.com
USA Softball: www.USAsoftball.ccm
National Fastpitch Coaches Association: www.nfca.org
Ultimate College Softball: www.ultimatecollegesoftball.com
FRESNO STATE SOFTBALL QUICK FACTS
Location: Fresno, Calif.
President: Dr. Joseph I. Castro
Colors: Red & Blue
Conference: Mountain West
Facility: Bulldog Diamond (3,288)
Director of Athletics: Thomas C. Boeh
Senior. Associate AD/SWA Michael Boele
Softball Coaching Staff
Head Coach Trisha Ford
Alma Mater St. Mary's,1999
Career Record-Yrs 75-90 (4th)
School Record -Yrs / MW 33-26 (2nd) / 11-7
Assistant Coach Sara Pickering Alma Mater (Yr.) Washington, `97 (2nd)
Assistant Coach Carly Wynn Alma Mater (Yr.) Florida State, `10 (2nd)
Team Manager Halle Ortiz
Athletic Trainers Colin Mulligan, Taylor Mickelson
Returning All-MW Vonnie Martin (2012, `13), Jill Compton (`13), Paige Gumz (`13), Brenna Moss (`13)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost 17/4
Position Starters Returning/Lost 7/1
Position Players Returning/Lost/New 13/3/7
Infielders Returning/Lost/New 9/1/2
Outfielders Returning/Lost/New 4/2/5
Pitchers Returning/Lost/New 4/1/1
Returning All-WAC Brooke Ortiz (2011)
All-Time Record (Years) 1595-596-1 (37th)
All-Time NCAA D1 Record (Yr) 1511-539-1 (33rd)
All-Time Home Record (Yr) 821-208-1 (36)
All-Time Conf. Record (Yr) 635-158 (36)
All-Time MW Record (Years) 11-7 (1)
Conference Titles 21 (1978, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 09)
AIAW Tourn. Appearances 4 (1978, 79, 80, 81)
NCAA Tourn. Appearances 30 straight (1982-2011)
NCAA Titles 1 (1998)
NCAA Runner-up Finishes 4 (1982, 88,89, 90)
WCWS Trips 12 (1982, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 97, 98, 99)
Academic All-Americans 18
All-Region Selections 110
All-Conference Selections 181
Olympians 12 players / 1 coach
NPF Professional Draft Picks 23
* For athletics department purposes:
The University asks to be called Fresno State - never Fresno State University and never shorten to Fresno.
For graphics or abbreviations, we ask that you please use FS or Fresno St. - never FSU, CSUF or Fresno.
The official name of the school is: California State University, Fresno
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