Fresno State was picked to repeat as Mountain West softball champion, earning eight first-place votes from the conference’s nine coaches.
The Bulldogs, who open the season Feb. 12, return seven starters from last year’s team that captured the program’s first Mountain West title with a 20-4 league mark (40-16 overall).
Fresno State is coming off a 40-win season and its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2011.
Led by reigning MW Coach of the Year Trisha Ford, Fresno State returns the 2015 Pitcher of the Year in senior right-hander Jill Compton and the 2015 Defensive Player of the Year in senior catcher Paige Gumz. Compton went 28-11 last season with a 2.25 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 242.1 innings. Gumz hit .275 with three home runs and 33 RBIs while starting all 56 games.
Fresno State opens the season on the road this weekend, facing Indiana Feb. 12 at the ASU Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The Bulldogs this weekend also are scheduled to play Tennessee, Seattle, Boston College and Utah.
2016 MW Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team, (first-place votes), points
- 1. Fresno State, (8), 64
- 2. San Diego State, (1), 57
- 3. San Jose State, 49
- 4. New Mexico, 34
- 5. UNLV, 31
- 6. Utah State, 28
- 7. Colorado State, 27
- 8. Nevada, 26
- 9. Boise State, 8