Fresno State

Fresno State gets hot heading into Mountain West softball season

Fresno State’s Kelcey Carrasco, right, is congratulated by coach Linda Garza after hitting a home run against Montana in the Bulldog Classic tournament at Margie Wright Diamond on Friday, March 8, 2019.
Fresno State’s Kelcey Carrasco, right, is congratulated by coach Linda Garza after hitting a home run against Montana in the Bulldog Classic tournament at Margie Wright Diamond on Friday, March 8, 2019. ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

The Fresno State softball team accomplished what coach Linda Garza hoped for: a sweep of its own tournament.

The Bulldogs finished a 6-0 weekend run with two wins Sunday, giving them an eight-game winning streak in a 14-6 season.

Three of those losses came against top-10 programs (two to UCLA, one to Tennessee) and another to a Top 25 program (Oregon State). There was a loss at Hawaii after Fresno State had rallied to go ahead.

And then there was inexplicable 8-0 run-rule loss at first-year NCAA Division I program Cal Baptist.

Sunday, the Bulldogs scored some revenge for that one, beating Cal Baptist 6-4. Freshman Danielle Lung gave up two home runs but got the win.

And Danielle East, an All-Mountain West pitcher last season as a freshman, asserted her dominance: six straight outs to save the Cal Baptist win, then a three-hitter with five strikeouts to beat UC Santa Barbara 3-1.

A year after leading the Mountain West in strikeouts, the left-handed East (4-4) is doing things economically. Sunday, she needed just 98 pitches in her nine innings of work.

With Lung (4-1) and sophomore transfer Hailey Dolcini (6-1), Fresno state appears well-armed for a Mountain West run beginning this weekend with a series at Colorado State. The Rams (17-4) come in on their own eight-game winning streak.

The conference appears stout. Preseason favorite and defending champion Boise State is 17-2. The Broncos feature 2018 MW player of the year shortstop Rebekah Cervantes (Redwood High) and Gianna Mancha (Central High), who’s 7-1. Five other teams including Fresno State are above .500.

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