May 1, 2012 By Jason Clay
By Jason Clay
Fresno State (31-20, 11-5 WAC) vs. Louisiana Tech (22-29, 7-10 WAC)
Dates: May 4-5, 2012
Game Times: Friday: 6 p.m.; Saturday: 1 & 3 p.m.
Site: Bulldog Diamond (3,288) - Fresno, Calif.
FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team closes out the 2012 regular season with a three-game series on Senior Weekend at home against Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs and Lady Techsters play a single game Friday night at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
ESPN2 790 AM is broadcasting all three games with Guy Haberman delivering the action. Video streaming and live stats of all three games are also available at GoBulldogs.com.
Youth eighth grade and younger can receive free admission into Bulldog Diamond with a paying adult on Friday by wearing their favorite baseball or softball jersey. On Saturday, anyone with a military ID gets in free as part of Fresno State's season-long Salute to Saturday's, Wounded Warrior Project.
Saturday is also Youth Softball Day at Bulldog Diamond. Fresno State invites youth softball teams with kids eighth grade and younger out to the doubleheader. A special $5 package that includes a game ticket, hot dog and soda is available to members from the youth teams. The package must be ordered through the Fresno State Group Sales office before the end of the day Thursday by calling 559-278-1046.
This weekend marks the final home games for seven seniors. Rebecca Hall, Kaitlin Griffin, Courtney Moore, Michelle Moses, Mackenzie Oakes, Andrea Ortega and Kaylan Pollard will be honored at Saturday's senior day.
Fresno State enters the weekend in third place in the WAC standings. The Bulldogs can still finish in second place if they sweep La Tech and BYU, who currently holds the No. 2 spot, loses one game at Nevada this weekend. The `Dogs will also get the number two seed and a bye at the WAC Tournament if they win 2-of-3 this weekend and BYU loses two games to the Wolf Pack.
Bulldog Diamond has been kind to the `Dogs this year. Fresno State is 22-7 overall at home and has won all eight WAC home games this season. The Bulldogs have outscored WAC opponents 36-14 and have out-hit them 56-31 in their eight league home games.
Out-hitting the opponent has been a key to Fresno State's success all season. The `Dogs are 26-1 on the year when they out-hit their opponent, but just 5-19 when the don't out-hit them.
Fresno State is coming off a slow weekend offensively, as the `Dogs were swept by No. 14 Hawai'i. The Bulldogs were just 8-for-77 (.104) at the plate in the series at UH, but look forward to playing in the friendly confines of Bulldog Diamond this weekend. The `Dogs are hitting .293 as a team at home this year and average over seven hits and five runs per home game.
Opponents on the other had have struggled at the plate in Fresno, as the Bulldog pitching staff has held them to a .205 batting average and only five hits and two runs per game at Bulldog Diamond.
Fresno State is 31-6 all-time against Louisiana Tech, including a 15-3 mark at home against the Lady Techsters.
Fresno State's Series History Against Louisiana Tech
Fresno State leads the all-time series against Louisiana Tech, 31-6. The Bulldogs are 15-3 all-time at home against the Lady Techsters, but have won just three of the last five home games against La Tech. One loss came in the 2011 WAC Tournament, but Fresno State came back to beat the Lady Techsters later in that tournament. Fresno State won the first 15 games in the series from 2002-05 and 11 of those were shutout victories. The Bulldogs have shut out La Tech 22 times in their 31 victories in the series.
An Individual Look at the Bulldogs vs. La Tech
Courtney Moore and Mackenzie Oakes are the two Bulldogs that have seen the most success against Louisiana Tech. In eight career games, Moore is batting .370 (10-for-27) against La Tech with two doubles, one home run and four RBIs. Oakes in five career appearances and four starts, is 3-1 with a 0.82 ERA. She went 3-0 against the Lady Techsters last year with two shutouts and allowed only one run in 23 innings of work. Of the 90 La Tech batters Oakes faced last year, only 15 got a hit as she held them to a .185 batting average. Michelle Moses is 2-1 lifetime in three starts against La Tech with a 1.00 ERA. She has 34 strikeouts in her 21.0 innings of work against the Lady Techsters. Offensively, Moses has nine hits in 37 at-bats (.243 average) in 12 career games with three doubles, one home run and seven RBIs. Andrea Ortega is batting .200 vs. Louisiana Tech in 10 career games and last year as a freshman, Brooke Ortiz went 2-for-16 in the five meetings. Her two hits were a double and a triple and she scored after each hit.
Wright Approaching Win No. 1,300 at Fresno State; 2,000th Career Game Coached
Legendary head coach Margie Wright, the winningest coach of all-time in NCAA Division I fast-pitch softball, is 11 wins from 1,300 at Fresno State and seven games from 2,000 coached in her 33-year coaching career. Now in her 27th season at Fresno State, Wright has gone 1,289-447-1 (.742) with 17 conference championships, 10 Women's College World Series Appearances, one national championship (1998) and has reached the NCAA Tournament each and every year she has been with the school. Her 33-year coaching record (she coached at Illinois State from 1980-85) now stands at 1,452-539-3 (.728). Her 1,452 victories are the second-most among all active NCAA Division I head coaches regardless of sport. Only Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido has more career victories with 1,840.
Bulldogs to Honor 2012 Senior Class
For seniors Rebecca Hall, Kaitlin Griffin, Courtney Moore, Michelle Moses, Mackenzie Oakes, Andrea Ortega and Kaylan Pollard, this weekend's series marks their final home games at Bulldog Diamond. Griffin, Moses, Oakes and Pollard have been with the team for the past four seasons while Ortega is a fifth-year senior. Ortega, who received a medical redshirt in 2009 after being injured in the sixth game of the season, has been apart of 199 victories in her career. Fresno State has a 199-93 record over her five years in the program. For Griffin, Moses, Oakes and Pollard, they have led Fresno State to a 145-80 (.644) record over the past four seasons. That group helped lead the Bulldogs to the 2009 WAC regular season championship and the NCAA Tournament each and every year. Moore transferred to Fresno State from Mississippi State as a sophomore in 2010 and has helped lead the `Dogs to a 107-60 (.641) mark. Hall transferred from Miami Dade College in 2011 and over the past two seasons helped Fresno State to a 66-39 (.629) record. All seven seniors will be honored before Saturday's doubleheader.
Home Sweet Home
Fresno State returns home this weekend for the final three home games that were on its originally scheduled 35-game slate at Bulldog Diamond. The 35-home games would have been the most-ever in program history, but games canceled due to rain knocked the number of home games this year down to 32. Fresno State is 22-7 at home this year and a perfect 8-0 in WAC home games. In those eight WAC home games, the `Dogs have outscored their opponents 36-14 and out-hit them 56-31.
Moses Nearly Records Third No-Hitter of the Season
Michelle Moses did not allow a hit through seven innings in Fresno State's game on Saturday at Hawai'i, the first of the doubleheader. The problem was that game went 11 innings. The Bulldogs and Hawai'i were tied at zero after seven innings and the Rainbow Wahine did not have a hit against Moses. If the Bulldogs would have scored a run in the first seven innings, it would have given her the third no-hitter this year and fourth of her career. Hawai'i eventually got a hit against her in the with two outs in the eighth and went on to beat Moses 1-0 on a walk-off home run by Kayla Wartner to lead off the 11th inning.
The loss was just the second for Moses in WAC play, as she now is 9-2 in conference games with a 1.88 ERA. For the season, Moses is 20-13 with a 1.97 ERA and her 11 shutouts are tied for the sixth-most in the country. Last weekend, Moses became the sixth pitcher in Fresno State history to register 600 strikeouts in a career. With a WAC leading 224 strikeouts this year (which ranks No. 21 nationally), Moses now has 615 career strikeouts.
Moore Approaching Double-Digit Home Runs
Senior designated player Courtney Moore hit her ninth home run of the season off of UH's Stephanie Ricketts last Friday, April 27. Her blast was a three-run shot in the third inning of the first game of the series. It was her fifth in WAC play, which is tied for the second-most in the league for homers hit in conference only games. For the season, Moore is second on the team and tied for fifth in the conference with her nine homers. She is batting .304 on the season and her .356 batting average in WAC play leads the team and ranks eighth in the conference.
Fresno State has won 30 games for the 31st consecutive season. In the 30 seasons before this year, the Bulldogs have averaged 48 wins per season and have appeared in every single NCAA Tournament - the only school in the nation to do so. Fresno State's program record for wins in a season is the 65 games the 1999 squad won, which is the last Bulldog team to reach the Women's College World Series. The 1998 team that won the school's first national championship in any team sport won 52 games.
The Bulldogs own a 26-1 record this year when out-hitting their opponent, but are just 5-19 when they don't out-hit the opposition.
Fresno State has held its opponent to two runs or less in 30 of the 51 games it has played this year. The `Dogs are 26-4 when holding opponents under three runs, but just 5-16 when they score more than two runs. On the flip side, Fresno State is 24-8 when scoring three or more runs, but just 7-12 when scoring less than three runs.
The Bulldogs are also 26-5 this season when scoring first.
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