The Fresno State softball team will leave the hitting on the field in an effort to raise awareness on domestic violence Saturday during its three-game series against New Mexico State, which begins today at 6 p.m.
The Aggies came into the season as the Western Athletic Conference defending champs but have since plummeted in the standings.
Regardless of where the Bulldogs’ opponents sit in the standings, head coach Margie Wright will handle this game like every other conference competition.
“In the WAC we see each other three times and there is a rivalry with everyone because you’re in conference,” Wright said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. We want to beat the other team.”
The Aggies are currently in last place in the WAC with a 1-11 conference record and are 20-24 overall. They are currently winless on the road during conference play.
“It doesn’t matter what their record is. They are going to play up to us no matter what — every team is,” senior Kaitlin Griffin said. “We just take it one day at a time. That’s what coach prepares us for everyday.”
Although the Aggies have struggled mightily this season, the Bulldogs remain focused on their opposition, who last season beat Fresno State twice in three games. The Bulldogs hold a 14-3 advantage over the Aggies since New Mexico State joined the WAC in 2006.
“We take every day one day at a time, make sure we get a W on the day before we move on to the next game,” senior Courtney Moore said.
The Bulldogs enter the series 8-2 in conference and 28-17 overall and a half game behind Hawaii for first place in the WAC. The Dogs also are undefeated at home in conference play. They had won seven conference games in a row before being tripped up by San Jose State on Sunday in game two of their doubleheader.
“Where we are now is a good place to be, with nine games left,” Wright said. “I’m pretty pleased with them.”
Bulldogs fans who go to today’s game in their favorite softball or baseball jersey will receive free admission to Friday’s game. Those with a military ID will also be given free admission to Friday’s game as part of the Bulldogs’ season-long Wounded Warrior Project Salute on Saturday.
The Dogs will don purple jerseys Saturday during the team’s ninth-annual Domestic Violence Awareness Day in remembrance of coach Margie Wright’s late sister who was a victim of domestic violence as well as all who have been victims of violence.
“We’re using our great sport of softball to bring about a bigger issue of a negative aspect that happens in the Central Valley and all over the world,” coach Margie Wright said. “We’re always trying to make, the Central Valley in particular, more aware that there are ways to help people who are involved with domestic violence.”
The team will also be accepting cash and daily essentials donations for the Marjaree Mason Center. Anyone who brings in donations will receive free admission to the day’s games. Daily essentials that will be accepted include towels, wash clothes, large bottles of shampoo (baby and adult), tooth paste, tooth brushes, old cell phones, cleaning supplies, paper products, gift cards and bus tokens.
The gates to Saturday’s doubleheader will open at noon and the first 400 in attendance will receive a free purple Fresno State T-shirt.
The Women’s Resource Center will also be holding its “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event where men will march from the front of Thomas Administration to Bulldog Diamond wearing women’s shoes.