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Softball: No. 23/25 Bulldogs sweep New Mexico, off to best conference start since 2004

The nationally-ranked Fresno State softball team (27-9-1, 9-0) is off to its best conference start since 2004 after picking up its third consecutive Mountain West season sweep this weekend over New Mexico.

The ‘Dogs capped the three-game road series sweep Sunday with an 11-1 run-rule victory over the Lobos.

“Sweeping a series especially on the road is tough,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “I was especially happy with our bats this weekend, Jill [Compton] did her thing on the mound and we backed her with a lot of offense. Every conference game is important so we need to keep doing what we do well and take it game by game.”

Fresno State also dominated the Lobos in Friday’s Game 1 and Saturday’s Game 2 by scores of 11-5 and 6-2, respectively.

Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter Bria Kennedy got things going early with a solo home run over center field that sparked five hits and three runs. Malia Rivers and Kierra Willis both reached base and Lindsey Willmon brought them home to give the ‘Dogs a 3-0 lead midway through the first inning.

In the ensuing inning, Kennedy scored again after reaching base on a single, stealing second, getting to third after a Lobo error and scoring after a Willis double.

The ‘Dogs added seven runs in the following three innings to put the game away.

Senior pitcher Jill Compton made her second start of the weekend and 19th overall. After Sunday’s victory, Compton improves her record to 7-0 in Mountain West play after throwing her 15th complete game.

Additional notes

-Fresno State has now won 19 straight Mountain West games dating back to the 2015 season and is riding a nine-game conference streak for the first time since the 2004 squad opened the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) season 9-0.

-The `Dogs have outscored their opponent with 10 or more hits in 15 contests and have won in double-digit fashion on seven occasions during the 2016 season. Sunday was the seventh time Fresno State has run-ruled an opposing team this year, fourth during the regular season and 25th in Ford’s four-year tenure.

-The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs became the first Mountain West program to sweep a three-game conference series from New Mexico in Albuquerque since 2013.