#31 Fresno State Softball Preview

Fresno State Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #31
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West
Fresno State Softball Top 44 Team Preview
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Trisha Ford is now the fourth head coach in the 35-year softball history of the Fresno State program (1,562-570-1 record since 1978). She replaced Margie Wright who retired and compiled a 27-year record of 1,294-451-1, .742 winning percentage, and an overall 33-year record of 1,457-542-3, .728 winning percentage, making her the winningest coach in Division I softball. In the fall of 2013 Wright will be inducted into the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame along with one of her former players, OF Laura Berg.  Ford formerly was an assistant coach at Stanford for nine years and is a 1999 graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. The Bulldogs open their season February 8-10 in the annual Fresno Starter Kick-Off Tourney and will now play in the Mountain West Conference after being a member of the Western Athletic Conference. “We are excited about playing in the Mountain West Conference and look forward to the many battles on the diamond. The conference brings a high level of competition that we are preparing hard for,” said Ford. The Bulldogs didn’t qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2012 after 31 consecutive years but rank third in all-time NCAA wins with 89.

2012: 36-23, 14-6
2012 Postseason:  None
Coach: Trisha Ford

Field Players:
This is expected to be a rebuilding year for new head coach Trisha Ford, who lost the top two pitchers among seven seniors. Also graduating was catcher Kaitlin Griffin (.192), who had an outstanding .995 fielding percentage making only two errors with 373 putouts and 17 assists. Griffin will be replaced by Kim Fisher, a junior who starred at Fresno City College. The two pitchers returning hurled only 27 innings. Among the returnees are leading hitter second baseman Brooke Ortiz (.312), catcher/infielder Stesha Brazil (.304), outfielder Brenna Moss (.283) and infielder Maria Sio (.281). Also returning is infielder/outfielder Vonnie Martin (.287) who was named second-team All-Conference. Another key loss is Courtney Moore who batted .271 and hit nine homers, second best on the team and also was named second-team All-Conference.

Fresno State lost seven seniors from the 2012 team, including two quality hurlers, Michelle Moses and Mackenzie Oakes, who combined for 37 wins in 2012.  Oakes had a career record of 48-22 at Fresno while Moses was named first-team All-Conference three consecutive years and is the 17th player in school history to accomplish that feat. Moses finished her career with 59 homers, second most in school history. She led the WAC in strikeouts (253 in 251 IP) and shutouts (12) in 2012. Moses also led the team and shared the WAC lead in homers (18) and also led in RBI (42). Pitchers returning from a year ago are Kiley Shae Aldridge (1-2) and Destinee Levesque (1-0) with freshmen Jillian Compton (Ocean, CA) and Hannah Harris (Santa Barbara, CA) rounding out the pitching staff.

Final Projection:
The Bulldogs will be playing in a new conference and figure to be in a rebuilding year. With only two seniors on the squad, the team success and a spot in the NCAA Tournament will depend on how the returning players progress and how fast the freshmen develop.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Brenna Moss, OF, 198
Hits: Brenna Moss, OF, 56
Home Runs:  Vonnie Martin, IF/OF, 7
RBIs: Stesha Brazil, C/IF, 33
Runs: Stesha Brazil, C/IF, 32
Stolen Bases: Brenna Moss, OF, 11

Wins: Kiley Shae Aldridge, P, 1; Destinee Levesque, P, 1
Innings Pitched: Destinee Levesque, P, 18
Strikeouts: Kiley Shae Aldridge, P, 10
Saves: Kiley Shae Aldridge, P, 1


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