Fresno State

Fresno State softball: Bulldogs host New Mexico in league showdown

Tuesday afternoon weather update: Fresno State will play a single game at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with a doubleheader now scheduled for Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m.

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When one player gets the ball rolling, the whole Fresno State softball team tries to follow suit.

“It’s all about the energy,” junior starting pitcher Jill Compton said.

The Bulldogs focused on that at Mountain West Conference leader San Diego State and left with a 2-1 series win.

“We always focus on keeping our energy up because that’s something we can control,” Compton said. “That gives us all the confidence. It makes it easier to pitch and easier for the hitters to hit.”

Compton pitched two complete-game wins, one a shutout, at San Diego State to be named the conference’s Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the third time this season.

Now Fresno State (25-13, 6-3 Mountain West) meets another top Mountain West team when New Mexico visits Margie Wright Diamond on Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.

San Diego State holds a one-game lead in the MW standings over three teams: the Bulldogs, San Jose State and New Mexico (22-16, 6-3).

A series win or sweep of New Mexico could put Fresno State in control of the MW standings.

“I think we’re in a good place right now,” coach Trisha Ford said. “We’re not overly confident but also not doubting our preparation. We have to go out and take the game and take the series.”

Compton puts the Bulldogs in a good spot. The junior right-hander is 15-9 with 28 starts in 30 appearances. She leads the conference in ERA (2.21) and strikeouts (148) in 155 innings. Opponents are batting .250 against her.

Offensively, Fresno State is led by senior outfielder and leadoff hitter Brenna Moss with a conference-best .472 batting average and third-best .541 on-base percentage which has led to a team-high 39 runs scored.

The Lobos have won all three of their Mountain West series, going 2-1 at Utah State, UNLV and against Nevada. They are led at the plate by junior Mariah Rimmer, who is hitting .411 with a team-leading 11 doubles and nine stolen bases. Sophomore reliever Krissy Fortner leads New Mexico with a 2.68 ERA over 75.2 innings. Fortner broke the school’s single-season save record on Friday with her fifth of the season and is 7-3 in 31 appearances.

The Bulldogs and Lobos are scheduled to meet again at noon Wednesday for the second half of a four-game series.

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