#41 Fresno State Softball 2017 Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West
Fresno State Logo
Fresno State completely dominated the Mountain West last season, going 22-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs have some serious questions heading into this season, but do not be surprised if they end up back on top of the MW pecking order by the end of the year. The biggest concern is on the mound where Jill Compton needs to be replaced. The most experienced pitcher returning is sophomore Kamalani Dung, who went 8-1 with a 4.41 ERA last season. Coach Linda Garza also adds junior college transfers Savannah McHellon and Sarah Santana. Those two had very good junior college campaigns last year and McHellon has a little experience at the Division I level, playing for Georgia as a freshman.
2016: 42-12-1, 22-1
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Linda Garza
Key Departed Players:
Jill Compton, P, 3.13 ERA, 194.1 IP, 140 SO
Bria Kennedy, OF, .335 BA, 8 HR, 29 RBI
Alyssa Villalpando, IF, .330 BA, 10 HR, 58 RBI
Paige Gumz, C, .317 BA, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Whitney Smith, IF, .316 BA, 2 HR, 16 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kamalani Dung, P, 4.41 ERA, 79.1 IP, 59 SO
Lindsey Willmon, UTL, .363 BA, 12 HR, 48 RBI
Kierra Willis, OF, .345 BA, 11 HR, 45 RBI
Dominique Jackson, IF, .264 BA, 11 HR, 30 RBI
The Bulldogs may have to rely on their bats a little more this year while they attempt to replace Compton. All eyes will be on the circle, and understandably so, but this is a team that should be able to pick up the slack in the hitting department. Senior Lindsey Willmon leads the way after batting .363 with 12 homeruns and 48 RBIs. Kierra Willis is another strong batter who can hit for power and average. Dominique Jackson also returns after hitting double digit homeruns last season. There are a few important pieces to fill, especially in the infield, but Coach Garza has some returning talent and newcomers who should be able to fill the void. As long as Willmon and Willis can continue their impressive play, Fresno State will have a dangerous lineup.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#14 Lindsey Willmon