Villalpando Joins Fresno State Softball Squad
    Third-year head coach Trisha Ford added another key bat to her biggest recruiting class yet.
    Third-year head coach Trisha Ford added another key bat to her biggest recruiting class yet.
    Aug. 25, 2014

    FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State softball head coach Trisha Ford and the returning Mountain West Conference runners-up bolstered their lineup for the 2015 campaign with the recent addition of junior transfer Alyssa Villalpando.

    The El Monte, Calif., native played 69 games the past two seasons for the University of Hawai'i at catcher, first base, third base and designated player, and helped the squad advance to the 2013 NCAA Tournament Regional Final.

    "Alyssa is someone we are excited to see continue to develop in our system," Ford said. "She will bring added depth to our infield and has a bat that has a lot of pop. When she came to campus, I knew right away that she was going to be a good fit personality-wise for our program. She comes from good stock, and I look to her to be a leader on and off the field."

    As a sophomore in 2014, she ranked second for the Wahine in slugging (.524), and fourth in batting (.286) and homers (4) and sixth in doubles (3). She clubbed round-trippers vs. UTEP, Portland State, Utah and San Jose State the opening weeks of the year, and staked multiple hits in four of her first nine appearances. Her season high in RBI (4) came in a 13-12 win over Portland State, thanks to her first career slam grand slam.

    As a freshman in 2013, she hit .316 (6-for-19) in conference play and helped the squad win the Big West. Her top frosh effort came at Pacific (3-for-4) when she slugged two home runs and drove in six RBI the final weekend of the regular season. A week later, she also collected multiple hits vs. Minnesota in the NCAA Regionals (2-for-3) and helped the Rainbows shutout the Gophers twice.

    As a prep, the four-time, all-league first-team selection was also a three-time team captain, two-time team MVP and league MVP as a senior. She helped Los Altos to league titles as a freshman and senior, and was a team captain in club action for the San Gabriel Velocity Gold squad.

     

     

    Villalpando joins a quartet of Fresno State newcomers that signed National Letters of Intent last fall and will be freshmen this year - infielders Wendy Cardinali (Santa Clarita), Katie Castellon (Stockton), Vanessa Hernandez (Hesperia) and Chase LeeHong (Monterey).

    Their arrival will help ease the offensive loss of four `Dog starters from last season - first baseman Stesha Brazil, third baseman Vonnie Martin, shortstop Brooke Ortiz and outfielder Kapri Angotti.

    Team-wise last year, the `Dogs (31-21, 15-9) staked runner-up conference honors for the second straight year under Ford, and earlier topped a pair of top-25 teams and 2013 Women's College World Series returnees in No. 6 Washington and No. 14 Nebraska.

    Villalpando looks ahead to her first practice next week when the team begins organized workouts, with several soon-to-be-announced fall exhibition games to follow.

    Looking ahead to 2015, the `Dogs return four All-MW selections from last spring - MW Defensive Player of the Year and senior center fielder Brenna Moss, junior pitchers Jill Compton and Hannah Harris and sophomore outfielder Kierra Willis. Moss and Compton were also All-Pacific Region choices - the first Bulldog duo since 2008.

    "Be Bold!" - Follow the Fresno State softball team on Twitter at @FresnoStateSB

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