Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fresno State roars into both Top 25 polls after 5-0 start

For the first time in five years, Fresno State is officially a Top 25 team.

After flirting with the national rankings for portions of the last few seasons and often receiving votes in the polls, today it became official:  After a perfect 5-0 weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, the Bulldogs jumped into the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 coaches poll this morning at No. 24.

An hour later, it was revealed that the Bulldogs soared into the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 rankings at No. 22.

A fixture in the national polls every year of their existence until 2011, Fresno State had not been ranked in the Top 25 since the week of April 5, 2011.  The Bulldogs spent two weeks in the national rankings that season, peaking at No. 23.

Their No. 22 ranking this morning in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll is the highest for a Fresno State softball team in a major poll in six years.  In 2010, the Bulldogs reached as high as No. 17 nationally in the coaches' poll.

Coach Trisha Ford's squad is coming off one of the strongest opening weekends to a season in school history.  The Bulldogs beat then-No. 8 Tennessee and then-No. 23 Utah in Tempe, and picked up four wins over Power 5 conference teams.  In addition to the wins over Tennessee of the SEC and Utah of the Pac-12, the Bulldogs defeated Boston College of the ACC, and the Big Ten's Indiana Hoosiers.  Also adding to the 5-0 start:  a victory over WAC team Seattle University.

Fresno State opens its home season this Friday against another Power 5 conference team when the Bulldogs meet Kansas of the Big 12 at 4 pm at Margie Wright Diamond, followed by Sacramento State.  Saturday, Fresno State will meet the Jayhawks again, before batting Sacramento State and UC Riverside Sunday.