Monday, September 28, 2015

Fresno State has 45 wins over Top 25 teams since 2005


Here we are in the midst of another football season, and still with several months to go until softball season begins.

While traditional football power Boise State continues to look strong on its blue field, other Mountain West football teams haven't been all that impressive.  In fact, a columnist for The Fresno Bee says the Bulldog football team is a mess.  So that got us to thinking.

While the Bulldog football team hasn't had a win over a Top 25-ranked team since December 27, 2004 (a 37-34 overtime win over then-18th ranked Virginia), Fresno State softball has done a lot of winning since that time.  A whole lot.

In fact, the Bulldog softball team has posted 45 wins over Top 25-ranked opponents since the beginning of the 2005 season alone.  That's the most -- by a wide margin -- of any current Mountain West softball team.

The offseason is a good time to count them down and take a look back at Fresno State's wins over Top 25 teams since the start of 2005.  Among the victories are several over Top 10 and even Top 5 opponents and national powers, including the likes of Oklahoma, Michigan, LSU, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Washington, Texas and Arizona State among others.

The reigning Mountain West champion Bulldogs have 12 wins over Top 10 teams in the past decade, and four over teams ranked in the Top 5.  Fresno State's best win during the decade -- according to the rankings -- was a 6-1 clubbing of then 2nd-ranked Arizona State in 2007.

Here is the complete list:
  1. Feb. 20, 2015 - Fresno State defeats No. 25 Texas 8-7
  2. March 9, 2014 - Fresno State defeats No. 14 Nebraska 1-0
  3. March 9, 2014 - Fresno State defeats No. 6 Washington 1-0
  4. May 11, 2012 - Fresno State defeats No. 12 Hawai'i 9-7
  5. Feb. 25, 2012 - Fresno State defeats No. 5 UCLA 6-3
  6. May 20, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 16 Nebraska 1-0
  7. April 2, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 20 Hawai'i 2-0
  8. April 2, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 20 Hawai'i 2-1
  9. April 1, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 20 Hawai'i 5-0
  10. March 19, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 5 Michigan 3-1
  11. Feb. 25, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 18 Oklahoma State 4-3
  12. Feb. 18, 2011 - Fresno State defeats No. 8 Missouri 6-3
  13. May 15, 2010 - Fresno State defeats No. 23 Hawai'i 4-3
  14. May 1, 2010 - Fresno State defeats No. 23 Hawai'i 9-7
  15. Feb. 25, 2010 - Fresno State defeats No. 13 Texas 5-4
  16. April 18, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 25 Nevada 4-0
  17. April 17, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 25 Nevada 1-0
  18. March 13, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 Florida State 1-0
  19. March 8, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 9 California 4-3
  20. Feb. 21, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 12 Northwestern 3-0
  21. Feb. 21, 2009 - Fresno State defeats No. 20 North Carolina 4-2
  22. May 18, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 California 3-2
  23. May 17, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 21 San Diego St. 2-0
  24. April 26, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 Hawai'i 2-1
  25. April 26, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 Hawai'i 3-2
  26. April 25, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 Hawai'i 4-3
  27. March 22, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 20 Long Beach St. 2-0
  28. March 20, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 6 Michigan 6-5
  29. March 13, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 8 Oklahoma 1-0
  30. March 6, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 16 DePaul 4-2
  31. Feb. 22, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 25 Texas 9-7
  32. Feb. 21, 2008 - Fresno State defeats No. 21 UNLV 2-0
  33. May 17, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 16 Stanford 2-0
  34. May 11, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 12 Hawai'i 9-3
  35. April 21, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 16 Hawai'i 6-2
  36. March 16, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 2 Arizona State 6-1
  37. March 3, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 23 Nebraska 3-2
  38. March 2, 2007 - Fresno State defeats No. 18 California 2-1
  39. May 20, 2006 - Fresno State defeats No. 10 Stanford 3-0
  40. March 9, 2006 - Fresno State defeats No. 22 DePaul 4-2
  41. Feb. 24, 2006 - Fresno State defeats No. 10 Oklahoma 4-2
  42. May 19, 2005 - Fresno State defeats No. 24 Long Beach St. 4-0
  43. March 28, 2005 - Fresno State defeats No. 5 Stanford 4-1
  44. March 19, 2005 - Fresno State defeats No. 14 Washington 8-3
  45. Feb. 26, 2005 - Fresno State defeats No. 10 LSU 5-2
This is the first in a series of off-season articles on each Mountain West softball team.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Six MW teams in prestigious 2016 Palm Springs field


In 2016 -- for the first time -- the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs will expand to two weekends, back to back.

During the weekend of February 19-21, a smaller scale tournament with 19 teams will showcase itself at the Big League Dreams complex just outside Palm Springs in neighboring Cathedral City.  New Mexico, which surprised many with a winning record and upper-division finish in Mountain West play in 2015, will be the lone MW team to participate in weekend one.  Among the traditional powers joining the Lobos are LSU, UCLA and Arizona.

On the following weekend (February 25-28), a monster field of 28 teams, including a slew of national powers and five Mountain West squads, will enter play at the same complex.  Defending MW champion Fresno State will be joined by San Diego State, San Jose State, Colorado State and Boise State in the event that boasts 2-time defending NCAA champ Florida and 2015 NCAA runner-up Michigan.  Among the other elite teams that weekend in Palm Springs:  Oregon, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Nebraska and many more.

For the complete list of teams participating in the exciting double weekend tourney, go here.

A decade ago, when this tourney was in its early stages, a separate tournament (called the Cathedral City Kick-Off at the time) was held on the opening weekend of the season.  But 2016 will mark the first time the Mary Nutter Classic will take place over two back-to-back weekends.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Off-season moves dot the Mountain West landscape


It's the first day of September, which means the start of the 2016 college softball season is only five months away.  Let's take a look at a few off-season moves around the world of Mountain West softball.

The conference's two NCAA Tournament teams from 2015 are both getting new additions.  Mountain West champion Fresno State is adding a player with Southeastern Conference ties for the second straight year, while conference runner-up San Diego State is adding a player from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Transferring to Fresno State from SEC power and 2015 NCAA Tournament team Mississippi State is Claire Stucker, who has three years of eligibility remaining. The sophomore infielder was a heavily-recruited, First Team MaxPreps All-State star out of Fresno's Bullard High, where she broke the school's all-time home run record while still a sophomore.  The former Fresno Bee Hitter of the Year batted .333 in limited action as a freshman at Mississippi State, which went 36-21 overall a year ago -- including 26-7 in non-conference play.

Transferring to San Diego State from Virginia of the ACC is pitcher Alex Formby.  As a freshman with the Cavailers, Formby went 3-14 with a 7.30 ERA while throwing 102 2/3 innings. She made 19 starts with eight complete games and appeared in 30 contests for a Virginia team that went 16-40 overall.  A star at Santa Ana's Mater Dei High along with a stint at Los Alamitos, she will add much-needed pitching depth for the Aztecs in 2016.

Among the prominent names missing from our early peek at Mountain West rosters for the upcoming season are a pair of pitchers.

Rachel Rodriguez, who matched a team-high with 38 appearances last season at Boise State during her freshman year, is not listed on the 2016 Broncos roster.  Rodriguez's five wins and eight complete games were the most by a Boise State pitcher a season ago. She tied for the team lead in saves (2) and was second in starts (18), one behind senior-to-be Nicole Wilson.

Colorado State also lost a key pitcher in Trinity Harrington, who's now at Texas A&M.  Harrington's departure is a big blow to coach Jen Fisher's squad.  She ranked first or second on the team in wins, ERA, shutouts, starts, appearances, complete games, strikeouts, innings pitched and saves.  Her 3.10 overall ERA was second-best on the team and she led the Rams squad in ERA in conference play.  Harrington also won MW Pitcher of the Week honors after a 2-hit shutout of Northern Colorado.


Stay tuned for more player updates as we get new information.