Sep 16, 2019
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Softball: ‘Dogs carry momentum into senior weekend

The first-place Fresno State softball team will look to keep its momentum going in a weekend series at home against the Nevada Wolf Pack on Senior Weekend.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to four and remained on top in the Mountain West standings with a sweep at home against the Boise State Broncos.

The Wolf Pack sit in eighth place in the conference with an overall record of 14-30 and a conference mark of 4-11.

Last weekend, the Wolf Pack lost two out of three games at home against UNLV.

Senior Karley Hopkins registered a career-high five RBIs in the Wolf Pack’s 10-5 win over the Rebels on Saturday.

Matt Meuchel is in his eighth season as head coach of Nevada. In 2014, Meuchel led the Wolf Pack to a 27-25 season.

Last season, Nevada took two out of three from the Bulldogs in the final series for both teams, and ruined the ‘Dogs postseason hopes.

Third-year Fresno State head coach Trisha Ford said her team must focus on itself to finish the season strong.

“We control our destiny,” Ford said. “It doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing. It only matters what we’re doing. If we don’t do what we’re supposed to, it doesn’t matter. And I think the seniors know that, and they’re worrying about us.”

For the Bulldogs, senior outfielder Brenna Moss leads the conference with a .449 batting average and 71 hits this season.

Moss said the ‘Dogs relish the opportunity to be in the thick of the Mountain West race.

“It’s exciting. That’s why we play the sport, for the challenge of it,” Moss said. “It does get a little nerve-racking sometimes because we have been there almost every year, almost making it to postseason, and, this year, we want it. It’s going to be fun fighting for that to the end.”

Fresno State sophomore left fielder Kierra Willis leads the team with seven home runs and six triples.

Junior Jill Compton leads the Mountain West with 189 strikeouts. Compton has been the Mountain West Pitcher of the Week five of the last six weeks.

“I always tell [Compton] if she throws shutouts, we win. It’s not that hard,” Ford said. “She has taken her game to the next level. It’s been great to see her. She has put in the mental work. Jill came to us with a lot of tools, and each year she got better and better.”

The seniors hope to make Senior Weekend one to remember.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet,” Moss said. “It’s gonna be sad to put this behind me. But it’s also exciting. I grew through these four years with these seniors, and I’m about to play my last game.”

The `Dogs will open the series against Nevada tonight at 6:35 p.m. in what will be Heroes Night, Season Ticket Appreciation Night and Youth Jersey Friday at Margie Wright Diamond.

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