Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fresno State ranked 21st & 22nd in the major polls this week


For the third consecutive week, Fresno State remained in both national Top 25 polls.

The Bulldogs, who picked up a pair of quality wins last week, are No. 21 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and No. 22 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 coaches poll this week.  The Bulldogs were 20th in both rankings a week ago.

At the prestigious and ultra-competitive Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs a week ago, Fresno State defeated perennial Big Ten power Northwestern 6-4 and defending Big West champion Cal State Northridge 3-1.

The Bulldogs' impressive, but daunting schedule, continues this week at a second straight high-profile tournament -- the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton.  Fresno State, which has already notched seven wins against teams from the Power 5 conferences, gets a chance at several more.  From Friday through Sunday, the Bulldogs will face two Big Ten teams, two Pac-12 teams and a Big 12 foe.  Three of the five are currently receiving Top 25 votes, and one (Northwestern, which Fresno State meets for the second time in a week) has received Top 25 votes earlier this season and is coming off a 7-2 win over then-No. 10 UCLA on Sunday.

In addition to Northwestern, the Bulldogs this week meet Oregon State (ranked No. 22 in the latest USA Softball poll), Baylor (ranked 22nd and 24th in the two major polls this week), California (ranked 25th by College Sports Madness, and receiving enough votes to place 27th and 29th this week in the two major polls), and Wisconsin.  The Badgers (7-7) have played a tough schedule that includes wins already over Cal, NC State, South Florida and a pair of Mountain West teams (Nevada and UNLV).

Other news -- Jenavee Peres of San Diego State and McKenna Isenberg of Nevada today were named the Player and Pitcher of the Week in the Mountain West by the conference offices for their performances last week... In the lone non-conference game involving a MW team Tuesday, Colorado State knocked off Northern Colorado 10-2 in six innings.  The Rams improved to 6-10 overall by winning their home opener, while the Bears fell to 3-8.  Madison Kilcrease had three hits, three stolen bases and four RBI for Colorado State in the game.  Northern Colorado will play three games at New Mexico this weekend as the Lobos open the home portion of their schedule.