Fresno State’s rough run at one of the country’s top softball tournaments last week took only a little luster off its early-season national acclaim.
The Bulldogs, who suffered their first losses of the season at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City after opening 10-0, dropped only slightly in the latest national Top 25 rankings released Tuesday.
Fresno State slipped two spots to No. 22 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Coaches Poll and fell one to No. 21 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings.
Florida, after a 5-0 run at the Mary Nutter, remained a unanimous No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and received 18 of 20 first-place votes from ESPN.com/USA Softball.
The Bulldogs (12-3) lost 3-2 to then-No. 12/11 Oklahoma and 9-0 to then-No. 7 Oregon over the weekend and 8-3 to unranked Loyola Marymount.
Next up – Fresno State plays at the Cal State Fullerton-hosted Judi Garman Classic this weekend, opening Friday against a Northwestern team it beat 6-4 in eight innings in the desert.
The Bulldogs also will play No. 24/22 Baylor, Wisconsin, Oregon State and Cal. Oregon State and Cal are the top two among other teams receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
Bulldogs among conference leaders – Fresno State freshman Dominique Jackson is third among Mountain West hitters in average (.421), tops in slugging (.868) and homers (5), second in on-base percentage (.511) and tied for sixth in RBIs (11) and runs (11).
Junior Lindsey Willmon shares the lead in runs (13), with senior Bria Kennedy tied for third (12). Paige Gumz shares third in doubles (4) and fellow senior Alyssa Villalpando is tied for first in triples (2).
Kierra Willis is third in walks (11) and fellow junior Malia Rivers fifth in steals (4). Senior right-hander Jill Compton is second in ERA at 1.47, fourth in opposition batting average (.227), second in strikeouts (42) and leads in wins (7).