'Dogs Cap Home Slate with Special Weekend Tilts vs. Rams
May 1, 2014
FRESNO STATE SOFTBALL WEEKLY RELEASE (*Click here for PDF version)
This Weekend: vs. Colorado State (30-13, 11-7)
Radio Note: ^ = Sat./Sun will be broadcast live on ESPN 790 AM The Deuce
*Fans should note that Saturday & Sunday start times are earlier than originally scheduled.
All-Time Series (First Year): Fresno State leads, 27-7 (1988)
Single Game Ticket Prices (also available online at http://www.gobulldogs.com/tickets/fres-tickets.html): Adult Lower Box $15; Adult Upper Reserved $10; Adult G.A. (OF Berm) $7; *Senior/Youth Upper Reserved $7; *Senior/Youth G.A. (OF Berm) $5
WHAT'S UP THIS WEEK
With two, three-game series left on the season, Fresno State leads the MW with a 12-6 conference record by one game over CSU who stands in a three-way tie for second place with SDSU (34-16, 11-7) and Boise State (27-19, 11-7).
Friday's series opener is set for 6 p.m., while Saturday's 2 p.m. contest is Margie Wright Diamond Dedication Day. The Hall of Fame former head coach's first pitch is set for 1:57 p.m., and special commemorative towels will be available for fans that arrive early.
Sunday is Senior Day, and the `Dogs five-member senior class will honored just prior to the noon start.
SPECIAL MARKETING / TICKETING PROMOTIONS
- Saturday, May 3, 2 p.m. - Margie Wright Diamond Dedication Day. Fans should arrive early to help honor the hall-of-fame former head coach who will throw out the first pitch. The first 2,000 fans to the game will receive an official Dedication Day towel, and all fans should sign a special thank-you poster for Coach at the entry gate.
- Sunday, May 4, Noon - Senior Day. Help us wish our five senior Bulldogs good luck in their last home game in a special pre-game ceremony. Salute to Sunday means all veterans and active military receive free admission with a valid military ID. Kids can also run the bases after the game.
RECENT `DOG ACTION
On Tuesday, sophomore Jill Compton received MW Pitcher of the Week honors - the fourth Bulldog this year to claim Pitcher/Player of the Week honors. The All-MW returnee Compton went 3-1 in her six appearances last week, all four of her starts were complete games (including two shutouts and her second career no-hitter), and she allowed only one run in the other two starts.
FURTHER UP DOWN THE ROAD
The following weekend, 16 NCAA Regional sites will host three-day, four-team, double-elimination action from Thursday-Sunday, May 15-18. Each regional winner then advances to eight Super Regional sites for a best-of-three, two-day series on Thursday-Sunday, May 22-25, with every game televised by ESPN networks.
The eight remaining teams then advance to the ESPN-televised Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, May 29-June 4. More information on the NCAA Tournament and WCWS is available at the www.NCAAsports.com website.
RECENT BULLDOG TEAM NOTES
- Not surprisingly, Willis and Moss are also the team's top hitters in MW play (.421 / .420). Five others are topping .300 after 18 conference games this year - sophomore catcher Paige Gumz (.380), senior left fielder Kapri Angotti (.379), Smith (.350), senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (.339) and senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz (.308).
- Five players have homered this year - Stesha Brazil (8), Vonnie Martin (7), junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (5), junior DP Kelly Megee (2) and Paige Gumz (1). Career-wise, Brazil and Martin ranked seventh and 11th on school career lists (24 / 16). Martin has the team's lone grand slam this year (vs. Boise State), and Solomon is only 'Dog to have two round-trippers in one game. Last week against UNLV, Solomon and Brazil became the first Fresno State players to hit homers on back-to-back pitches this year.
- For the combined six games last week vs. SJSU/UNLV, five Bulldogs hit +.300 - Kierra Willis (.417, 5-for-12, 4 BB), Paige Gumz (.353, 6-for-17, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Stesha Brazil (.350, 7-for-20, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI), senior center fielder Brenna Moss (8-for-23, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Michelle Solomon (.300, 3-for-10, HR, 4 RBI).
- After Jill Compton, Kiley Shae Aldridge and Hannah Harris won MW Pitcher of the Week honors the past six weeks, all four Bulldog sophomore pitchers have now won honors under the guidance of head coach Trisha Ford. In 2013, sophomore Jill Compton won a pair of awards, as did sophomore Taylor Langdon once.
- Jill Compton's no-hitter last week vs. San Jose State made her the 16th Bulldog to pitch multiple no-hitters in her career. Former great Jamie Southern leads the list with eight, followed by fellow former All-Americans Melanie Parrent (7), and Carie Dever, Amanda Scott and Wende Ward (6).
- Pitching complete games in all four starts last week, the current MW Pitcher of the Week Compton claimed two shutouts, and allowed only one run in the other two outings. Including her save on Saturday vs. UNLV, she allowed only one run vs. the Spartans and Rebels in the last 22.2 innings of her last four appearances.
- Fresno State has won five straight MW series with its sweep of Utah State and 2-1 advantages at New Mexico, vs. San Diego State, at San Jose State and vs. UNLV the past five weeks.
- The past six weeks, the Bulldogs have scored the biggest and third-biggest run tallies in school history in wins vs. Boise State (24-4 (5) and New Mexico (20-0 (5)).
- Fresno State has scored seven wins this season against NCAA Tournament returnees - 1-0 shutouts of No. 6 Washington, No. 14 Nebraska and N.C. State, and a pair of victories vs. both San Diego State (5-4, 2-0) and San Jose State (8-1, 2-0).
Kapri Angotti has started 66 of her 80 games the last two years in left field and at DP. This year, she has stolen five bases, and is hitting .379 in MW play. Last year, the former walk-on and Clovis native was one of the team's biggest surprises, and led Bulldog starters with her .323 season average.
First baseman Stesha Brazil has a team-leading eight homers this year, and her 24 career-wise for the `Dogs is seventh-most in school history. Likewise, her .509 career slugging mark is sixth-best in Fresno State history. Nationally this week, the Turlock, Calif., native ranks 83rd with her three triples and fifth in the Mountain West, and she also stands eighth in the conference in both homers (8) and RBI (37).
Catcher Kim Fisher also hails from Fresno and was a Bulldog letterwinner last year - her first season with the program. The two seasons prior, she was a team captain for Fresno City College, and with Angotti helped the Rams to a conference title and runner-up finish.
Third baseman Vonnie Martin has been an All-MW and All-WAC honoree the last two years. This season, the Plano, Texas native has belted seven homers and boosted her career total to 16 - 11th-most in school history. Her discipline at the plate has been equally impressive, and her 34 walks this season rank 26th nationally, second in the MW, and fifth all-time for the `Dogs.
In her first year at shortstop Brooke Ortiz has shown her versatility by helping the team rank ninth nationally with 24 double plays this year. At the plate, the former second baseman from Lodi, Calif., is hitting .308 in MW play this season, and her five triples this year leads the Mountain West and ranks seventh nationally. An All-WAC honoree in 2011, she sports a .305 career hitting mark, and her 12 career triples rank ninth-most in school history.
In the classroom, Brazil, Martin and Ortiz are equally accomplished as former academic all-conference selections.
SIMPLY THE BEST
Before the game, the field will welcome a ribbon-cutting ceremony and first pitch by the former 27-year head softball mentor. Also honoring her that day will be University President Dr. Joseph I. Castro, Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh, Congressman Jim Costa and former Bulldog softball player / Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis.
En route to an NCAA record 1,294-450-1 ledger with the 'Dogs, she guided Fresno State to 10 World College World Series trips that included one NCAA title (1998), three NCAA runner-up finishes (1988, `89, `90), three NCAA third-place finishes (1991, `92, `97) and three NCAA fifth-place finishes (1987, `94, '99).
The 10-Time Conference Coach of the Year led Fresno State to 17 conference titles, 26 NCAA Tournament bids (1986-2011) and 178 straight weeks in the NCAA Top 25 en route to NFCA and ASA-USA Softball Hall of Fame nods.
On the individual front, her Bulldog players included 53 All-Americans, 15 Olympians, 29 Conference Players/Pitchers/Freshmen, 16 Academic All-Americans, eight professional players, four Honda Award Finalists and two NCAA Top VIII Award winners.
Away from the collegiate spectrum, she served as the 1998 ISF World Championship Gold Medal head coach and 1996 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal assistant coach.
The venue has served as the collegiate softball national attendance leader 13 times since 1991. An NCAA all-time largest regular-season softball crowd of 5,724 saw the team's versus Arizona (March 14, 2000), and also topped the 5,000 mark twice at home versus UCLA in 1996 (5,427, February 24 - stadium opener) and 1997 (5,167, February 8).
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Sophomore Taylor Langdon again paced the league in saves (4), and stood ninth in games in relief (12) and 10th in games finished (9), and sophomore Hannah Harris also stood fourth in ERA (2.65), fifth in shutouts (3) and seventh in opposing batting (.263).
At the plate, senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz topped the triples category (5), and six other `Dogs were spotted offensively - All-MW center fielder and junior Brenna Moss (stolen bases, second, 27; hits, fourth, 58; runs, fifth, 37; triples, seventh, 7), senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (walks, second, 33), sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (toughest to strike out, second, 1:20.3 at-bats), junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (triples, fifth, 3), senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (triples, fifth, 3; RBI, eighth, 37; homers, eighth, 7) and freshman left fielder Kierra Willis (triples, ninth, 2; on-base percentage, 10th, .460).
Team-wise, the Bulldog pitchers still pace the conference in lowest opposing batting average (.247), fewest hits allowed (290) and double plays (24), and stood second in ERA (2.55), fewest homers allowed (22), and saves (5). Offensively, the `Dogs rank first in triples (16) and third in stolen bases (67).
Eight other `Dogs stood top 150 nationally - sophomore pitcher Jill Compton (shutouts, 13th, 8; ERA, 92nd, 2.06; strikeouts, 108th, 135), senior third baseman Vonnie Martin (walks, 26th, 0.74 p/g), junior center fielder Brenna Moss (stolen bases, 27th, 0.59 p/g; runs, 148th, 0.80 p/g), senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz (triples, 7th, 5), sophomore second baseman Whitney Smith (toughest to strikeout, 44th, 1:20.3 at-bats), junior right fielder Michelle Solomon (triples, 83rd, 3), senior first baseman Stesha Brazil (triples, 83rd, 3) and sophomore right-hander Hannah Harris (shutouts, 134th, 3).
Team-wise, Fresno State's highest national rankings were in triples (eighth, 0.35 p/g), double plays (ninth, 0.52 p/g), fielding (38th, .970), stolen bases (43rd, 1.43 p/g), ERA (52nd, 2.55), win-loss percentage (75th, .609) and scoring (107th, 4.70 p/g).
Fans can find NCAA statistics updated every Monday at the http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary URL address.
BULLDOG-RAM SERIES HISTORY
RAMS SCOUTING REPORT (www.CSUrams.com)
2013 FRESNO STATE-COLORADO STATE RECAP
In the opener, Jill Compton struck out a career-high 11 batters en route to the complete game. Three `Dogs hit safely once, and Fresno State's runs came via a second-inning fielder's choice by Paige Gumz and seventh-inning RBI single by Kapri Angotti.
In the second game, Fresno State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but CSU used a three-homer fourth inning to win, 7-4. Brenna Moss and Michelle Solomon both went 2-for-3, and Hannah Harris pitched the first 3.1 innings, and was relieved by Taylor Langdon who struck out two and allowed no runs and one hit in her 2.2 innings.
In the finale, Compton logged a nine-strikeout shutout and allowed only two hits in the 5-0 decision. In the Bulldogs' two-run first inning, Diane Runge stole home on a double steal, and Stesha Brazil added an RBI single. Solomon later stroked an RBI double in the fifth inning, and two-run single in the seventh inning.
For the three games, Vonnie Martin led the team in hitting (.500, 4H, 3 BB), and four others topped .300 - Brazil (.400, 4H, 2 RBI, SB), Solomon (.400, 4H, 2B, 5 RBI, SB), Smith (.375, 3H, 1BB) and Runge (.333, 3H, 2 BB, SB). Compton added a 1.08 ERA in the circle and struck out 20 in her 13 innings and held Ram hitters to a .156 average.
RPI ON THE RISE
This week's RPI rating is again well ahead of last year's year-end position (116), and a full current listing is available here ( http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/softball/d1/ncaa-womens-softball-rpi ).
REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
At the plate, senior first baseman Stesha Brazil drilled her eighth homer of the season last week vs. SJSU, and her 24 career-wise is seventh-most in school history (not to mention the four she hit as a freshman at Houston in 2011).
Junior center fielder Brenna Moss stole two more bases last week vs. San Jose State to up her career total to 72 - second-best for Fresno State. That total ranks 26th nationally among active collegians (and seventh among players that are juniors or younger). Her 27 stolen bases this year is second-most in a season for Fresno State all-time, and seven behind her school record from last year (34).
The Bakersfield, Calif., native's triple against New Mexico moved her to 16 career-wise and fifth all-time for the `Dogs (and third nationally among active collegians). Moss's nine triples in 2013 is also second-best in Bulldog history behind former Olympian and All-American Laura Berg (11, 1995),
Among all-time game bests, her three stolen bases vs. Boise State and San Diego State this year tied her school record vs. UNM in 2013. Likewise, her four runs opening week vs. UC Riverside also matched a school game record.
Thanks to her walk vs. San Jose State, senior third baseman Vonnie Martin now has 34 on the year - fifth-most for Fresno State and only seven behind the shared school record of Christina Clark and Gina LoPiccolo (34).
With her triple vs. UNLV, senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz has five, three-baggers on the season and 12 career-wise - a tally that stands 14th nationally among active collegians and ninth all-time for Fresno State.
In her first month as a collegian, sophomore pitcher Jill Compton made history in February 2013 with the program's 70th no-hitter vs. St. Mary's, and the first Bulldog freshman to achieve the feat since 2006. Last week, she repeated the feat vs. San Jose State with a 2-0 win.
Last year, the squad combined for a school record 87 stolen bases in 54 contests. For comparison's sake in 2014, the `Dogs have swiped 67 bases after 40 games (which would equate to 75 in a 52-game season).
SIZING UP THE `DOGS IN 2014
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
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).
Willis has started 37 games at DP and in left field among her 44 appearances this year, while Liddell has made six starts at second base among her 14 appearances. Rodriguez had appeared in 30 games as a pinch-runner and stole bases vs. Sacramento State, Long Beach State, Utah State and San Jose State; Jimenez pinch-ran ran vs. No. 8 Oregon and Riverside; and Kaleialii has seen time behind the plate vs. UC Riverside, No. 25 Texas, Boise State and New Mexico.
As preps, Kaleialii helped 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.
RACKING UP THE WEEKLY HARDWARE
In her 2-0 win at NCAA Tourney returnee San Jose State in the series finale, the Oceano, Calif., native logged her first no-hitter of the season, second career-wise, and 71st in school history.
She also won the series opener vs. the Spartans, 8-1, and struck out seven in both contests to tie her second-highest total of the year.
Later in the weekend series vs. UNLV, she logged a 1-0 shutout in which she struck out six, and allowed only four hits and one walk - also only the third shutout of the Rebels this year by any team, and first in MW play.
The day before on Saturday, she picked up first career save after retiring the final two outs in the 6-3, second-game win vs. UNLV with the tying run at the plate.
In the opener vs. the Rebels, she pitched seven scoreless innings, before allowing a run in the eighth inning in the 1-0 decision.
In previous weeks, senior first baseman Stesha Brazil and sophomore pitchers Hannah Harris and Kiley Shae Aldridge were rewarded with MW Player and Pitcher of the Week honors in March and April to give the team nine honors from six current players the past 1 1/2 years.
In past years, Compton and Taylor Langdon combined for three honors in 2013, while senior third baseman Vonnie Martin was a two-time MW Player of the Week last season, and senior shortstop Brooke Ortiz was a WAC Player of the Week in 2012.
ANOTHER STACKED SCHEDULE
In the opening months of the year, Fresno State faced another Super Regional advancer (Oregon), a seventh NCAA Regional Finalist (N.C. State) and four other NCAA tourney qualifiers (Arizona, Houston, San Diego State and San Jose State).
Among the tilts in February and March, the `Dogs posted 1-0 shutouts vs. No. 6 Washington and No. 14 Nebraska on the same day in the finale of the Judi Garmin Classic, while it lost by one run the opening three weeks to No. 2 Tennessee (5-4) and No. 8 Oregon (10-9 (8)).
Among conference foes, the `Dogs went 2-1 against both last year's NCAA Tournament representative from the MW and WAC (San Diego State / San Jose State) in April.
Overall, the `Dogs will play 15 contests against 11 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
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 senior 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
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.
CATCH THE `DOGS ON THE AIR
Twenty of the team's games will also be radio broadcast locally by ESPN 790AM The Deuce this spring. Thirteen will come the first six weeks of the season in non-conference play, followed by seven MW games against Utah State, San Jose State, UNLV and Colorado State.
Christian Lukens and Andrew Haynes will share the radio broadcast duties, while Stephen Trembley and Keenan Sanders will handle the video stream play-by-play.
ALL-TIME `DOG CAREER RANKINGS
Stolen Bases 2. 72 Brenna Moss, 2013- (1st is 86)
ALL-TIME `DOG SEASON RANKINGS
Stolen Bases 1. 34 Brenna Moss, 2013 2. 27 Brenna Moss, 2014 (1st is 34)
THIS WEEK'S MW STANDINGS
Team MW Record Pct. Overall 1. Fresno State 12-6 .667 28-18 2. San Diego State 11-7 .611 34-16 Colorado State 11-7 .611 30-13 Boise State 11-7 .611 27-19 5 UNLV 12-9 .571 22-27 6. San Jose State 10-8 .556 27-21 7. New Mexico 7-14 .333 16-33 8. Utah State 6-12 .333 18-29 9. Nevada 4-14 .222 22-24
2014 MW PRESEASON POLL
Pl. Team Pts. 2013 Finish Overall 1. SDSU (7) 63 1st 13-5 35-18 2. Fresno State (2) 56 2nd 11-7 30-24 3. Boise State 42 4th 9-9 25-26 4. Colorado St. 38 2nd 11-7 25-24 San Jose St. 38 1st-WAC 17-4 42-15 6. Nevada 36 4th 9-9 30-23 7. UNLV 27 6th 7-11 21-31 8. New Mexico 13 7th 3-15 21-35 9. Utah State 11 8th-WAC 5-16 11-43
NOTABLE MW INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS (NCAA)
NOTABLE MW TEAM RANKINGS (NCAA)
Complete NCAA Stats - http://bit.ly/1gPx6rG
THIS WEEKEND'S MW SCHEDULE
Friday, May 2
Saturday, May 3
Sunday, May 4
RECENT MW RESULTS
Tuesday, April 29
Sunday, April 27
Saturday, April 26
Friday, April 25
Wednesday, April 23
Tuesday, April 22