Friday, February 3, 2017

Bulldogs ranked No. 22 and No. 24 in preseason Top 25 polls


Fresno State will begin the 2017 season with national Top 25 rankings in a pair of polls.

Coach Linda Garza's Bulldogs received 65 votes, and are ranked 24th in the preseason USA Today/NFCA coaches poll.  It is the 16th appearance in the last 23 years for Fresno State in the preseason coaches Top 25, but the Bulldogs' first since the 2010 season.

Fresno State appeared in the preseason coaches Top 25 every season from the poll's inception in 1995 until 2010, with the exception of just one year -- 2008.  And in 2008, the coaches got it wrong, as the Bulldogs ended up finishing that year ranked in the Top 10 and securing a national top 16 seed and hosting an NCAA regional at Margie Wright Diamond.

Garza's Fresno State team also finds itself ranked in the preseason D1 Softball News Top 25 poll, coming in at No. 22.  The Bulldogs are receiving votes in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll, as their 10 votes are 15 shy of the Top 25 itself, good enough for a ranking of 32nd.

No other Mountain West team received Top 25 votes in the preseason polls this year.  A year ago, Fresno State was receiving only a couple of votes in the preseason rankings, heading into the 2016 season 40th in the USA Today/NFCA rankings.  The Bulldogs would go on to rank as high as 17th last season before finishing the year 20th.

In other preseason news involving individual accolades in the Mountain West, Fresno State's Lindsey Willmon was named a preseason All-American by College Sports Madness; San Diego State's Jenavee Peres was named to the Top 50 preseason Player of the Year Watch List by USA Softball; and Colorado State's Haley Hutton and Nevada's Jennifer Purcell were named to the Fastpitch News preseason Top 50 hitters list.