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Softball: ‘Dogs focus on basics against Broncos

By | April 11, 2013 | Sports
Bunting and stealing bases have been the new style of play for the Bulldogs this season. They host Boise State at Bulldog Diamond this weekend. Khlarissa Agee / The Collegian

Bunting and stealing bases have been the new style of play for the Bulldogs this season. They host Boise State at Bulldog Diamond this weekend. Khlarissa Agee / The Collegian

Fresno State softball coach Trisha Ford said that the young Bulldogs have had to learn some tough lessons, thrown away some games and that she “would’ve liked us to be a little bit more on the W side.”

The Bulldogs’ recent loss on Wednesday against CSU Bakersfield was one in which Fresno State rallied in the seventh inning and scored two run, but lost 5-4 from a walk-off single in the bottom inning.

Fresno State (22-18, 3-3 Mountain West Conference) hosts Boise State this weekend at Bulldog Diamond in a three-game conference series.

The key for the Bulldogs, Ford said, will be focusing on the fundamentals, the things “we can control.”

“The things we can control are working ahead, keeping the ball down, executing bunts and stealing bases – those types of things,” Ford said.

The Broncos enter the series 17-19-1 and 1-2 in Mountain West play, with Fresno State leading the all-time series 9-4.

Juniors Devon Bridges and Tara Glover and senior Holly Bourke are all batting .330 or better.

“We’re definitely young. We’re trying to put everything together,” said Fresno State senior Diane Runge.

“We’re trying to gain experience and learn from the things that we haven’t done so well on. We’re scrappy. We’re going to put it together, and I think the fans have seen that. We’ve come from behind quite a bit, and we’ve banded together.”

The Bulldogs won their first Mountain West series against Nevada 2-1 at home, but fell 1-2 to UNLV last weekend on the road.

Fresno State is playing the bases more aggressively and leads the Mountain West in stolen bases with 60, a huge increase from last year’s total.

The Bulldogs’ single-season record for stolen bases is 75 and was set in 1980.

“We’re absolutely being more aggressive, which is great,” sophomore Kiley Shae Aldridge said.

“We have a great short game, so that’s what we’re going to use to our advantage.  We’re going to be scrappy. We’re going to execute the bunt. We’re going to move the runners over, and we’re going to try and score some runs.”

Fresno State will have three more three-game conference series after this weekend.

The Bulldogs will travel out of state lines for the first time this season next weekend for a road series against Colorado State.

Ford is confident the Bulldogs will find a groove in the second half of conference play.

“The key is to peak at the right time,” Ford said.

 

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