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Fresno State senior Malia Rivers hugs head coach Linda Garza during the senior day celebrations before the game at Margie Wright Diamond on May 7, 2017. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Bulldogs sweep on Senior Day

Coming off of a sweep over the UNLV Rebels, the Fresno State softball team celebrated its four graduating seniors in their final homestand at Margie Wright Diamond and continued their season-best win streak by sweeping the New Mexico Lobos over the weekend to improve to 32-20 on the season.

“I love that the seniors are able to go out on top and able to go out with a big w,” said head coach Linda Garza. “That’s huge for the Red Wave fans and for the community.”

Sophomore pitcher Kamalani Dung tossed all 19 innings of the series for the Bulldogs, giving up 11 hits and three walks over the weekend with 19 strikeouts and a 0.37 ERA.

With six wins over the past two weekends and having pitched every inning for the Bulldogs in each of those games, Dung leads the Mountain West Conference with 23 wins with 184 strikeouts in 218 innings.

“For us to be able to pull off the fifth/sixth win, get another sweep and Kama to walk away 6-0 over the last two weekends is pretty incredible,” Garza said. “We’re going to keep riding this wave as long as we can and see what postseason has for us.”

Senior and designated player Malia Rivers went 2-for-3 with one run scored, bringing her average to .357.

“I’m excited,” Rivers said. “I’m just ready for us to keep building off this win and then go into next weekend and just keep doing what we’re doing.”

Senior outfielder Kierra Willis’ 19th career triple tied her for third place on Fresno State’s all-time triples list.

“We came out, we’re on a good winning streak right now, and I just wish to continue it,” Willis said.

After going 2-for-2 in Saturday’s contest with a home run, 2 RBIs and a walk, senior catcher Lindsey Willmon went hitless with six putouts on Sunday in what could possibly be her final game at Margie Wright Diamond.

“There’s many mixed emotions,” Willmon said. “There’s sad emotions, there’s happy emotions and it’s like your emotions don’t know which way to go. I keep falling one way and then the other, but at the same time its just like I’m just so fortunate to have been able to be a part of this family, a part of this organization.”

Senior pinch runner Christina Rodriguez chalked up one run for the Bulldogs over the weekend to bring her to 17 runs scored on the season in 35 games played.

“It’s just another game,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want to make it bigger than it is, so it’s just another game. I’m stoked that we won. That’s an awesome thing to win on your senior game, but I think it’s just another game. It’s exciting though.”

Garza said seeing the seniors honored in front of the Red Wave crowd was a great recognition for the blood, sweat and tears the seniors put on the line in the games they played as Bulldogs.

“They should continue to be proud of not only what they’ve done in their careers here, but more importantly, just being a Bulldog and what it means to be a Bulldog softball player,” Garza said.

The Bulldogs return to action in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Friday where they will take on the Colorado State Rams in a three-game series to end conference play.

“Right now we have the approach of one game at a time, one pitch at a time, focus on us playing our game and putting ourselves in a position to win,” Garza said. “We’re going to take care of business, head over to Fort Collins and do what we can for the rest of the season.”