Fresno State’s dominant run in the Mountain West softball race, with the Bulldogs falling one win short of the first perfect season in conference history, was capped Tuesday by a near-sweep of the conference’s postseason awards.
Junior outfielder Kierra Willis was named Player of the Year, senior right-hander Jill Compton repeated as Pitcher of the Year, senior catcher Paige Gumz was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year, and Trisha Ford was named Coach of the Year.
Willis – the first Bulldog to be named MW Player of the Year – led the conference in runs (40), on-base percentage (.574) and walks (20) and tied for fourth in hits with 32. She was fifth in conference play in average (.451), slugging (.845) and RBIs (30) while recording at least one hit in 18 of 23 conference contests, including 13 multiple-hit games.
Compton led the conference in wins (15), strikeouts (78), innings (103 2/3 ), starts (16) and appearances (20). She ranked third in ERA (3.51) and fourth in opponent average (.263).
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Gumz tied for the league lead with a 1.000 fielding percentage in Mountain West games and had four assists.
In Ford’s fourth season, the Bulldogs opened conference play with 22 consecutive wins to set a Mountain West record before dropping their regular-season finale. Overall, the Bulldogs had won 32 straight in conference dating to last season.
The Bulldogs had four first-team selections: Compton for a fourth straight year, Willis, senior infielder Alyssa Villalpando and junior infielder Lindsey Willmon. Gumz made the second team with senior outfielder Bria Kennedy and junior infielder Malia Rivers.
Fresno State (44-10-1, 22-1) automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament as conference champion. The Bulldogs play at 3 p.m. Friday against Cal State Fullerton (43-14) at the UCLA Regional at Easton Stadium.
Former Redwood High School star Rebekah Cervantes, an infielder at Boise State, was named Freshman of the Year. She finished in the top 10 in the conference in five offensive categories, including second in home runs (10) and total bases (65). Nevada’s Megan Sweet (Frontier High/Hanford West), who hit .403 with seven home runs in conference games, was a repeat first-team selection.
2016 All-Mountain West Softball Team
- Rebekah Cervantes, Boise State, SS/INF, Fr.
- Teauna Hughes, Boise State, 1B, Sr.
- Haley Hutton, Colorado State, SS, Jr.
- Jaelyn Manzanares, Colorado State, C, Sr.
- Jill Compton, Fresno State, RHP, Sr.**
- Alyssa Villalpando, Fresno State, INF, Sr.
- Kierra Willis, Fresno State, OF, Jr.
- Lindsey Willmon, Fresno State, INF, Jr.
- Brooke Bolinger, Nevada, LHP, Fr.
- Megan Sweet, Nevada, SS, Sr.*
- Chelsea Johnson, New Mexico, DP, So.
- Samantha Camello, San Diego State, SS, Sr.
- Brittany Abacherli, San Jose State, OF, So.
- Jessie Hufstetler, San Jose State, DP/1B, Sr.*
- Jessica Madrid, San Jose State, OF, Sr.*
- Kristina Akiona, Colorado State, OF, Sr.
- Amber Nelson, Colorado State, UTL, Fr.
- Paige Gumz, Fresno State, C, Sr.
- Bria Kennedy, Fresno State, OF, Sr.
- Malia Rivers, Fresno State, INF, Jr.
- Aaliyah Gibson, Nevada, OF, So.
- Jasmine Jenkins, Nevada, OF, Sr.
- Jennifer Purcell, Nevada, 1B, So.
- Mariah Rimmer, New Mexico, OF, Sr.
- Sydnee Cable, San Diego State, 1B, Jr.
- Alex Formby, San Diego State, RHP, So.
- Madison Aurin, San Jose State, 1B, Fr.
- Taylor Purdy, San Jose State, 2B, Sr.
- Alleyah Armendariz, Utah State, OF/RHP, Jr.
- Jazmin Clarke, Utah State, OF, So.
- Victoria Saucedo, Utah State, 3B, Jr.
- Player of the Year: Kierra Willis, Jr., OF, Fresno State
- Pitcher of the Year: Jill Compton, Sr., RHP, Fresno State
- Defensive Player of the Year: Paige Gumz, Sr., C, Fresno State
- Freshman of the Year: Rebekah Cervantes, SS/INF, Boise State
- Coach of the Year: Trisha Ford, Fresno State
***= four-time honoree
**= two-time honoree
*= 16 players listed on All-Conference Second Team due to a tie in the voting