Juan Villa / The Collegian
In a weekend full of memories, milestones and national media attention, the Fresno State softball team swept New Mexico State in a three-game series at Bulldog Diamond.
The biggest milestone of the weekend was freshman Morgan Mellohâ€™s 37th win; the most wins in a single season for any Fresno State pitcher. Coach Margie Wright said it puts her in some pretty elite company.
â€œI think about [Maureen] Brady, Robin [Mackin] and Amanda Scott,â€ Wright said. â€œThatâ€™s a tough group to compete against.â€
When Melloh was in the circle, she said she didnâ€™t even know she was in contention for the record.
â€œIt feels great, I didnâ€™t even know,â€ Melloh said in surprise. â€œI just came out to play my game and came out to win for this team.â€
Melloh did just that. In the first game of the series she tallied 13 strikeouts in a competitive nine inning game. She finished with 29 strikeouts in the series.
At bat, senior Aja Scheuber carried the load for the â€˜Dogs in the first game. All three of Scheuberâ€™s hits brought runners home. The â€˜Dogs scored three runs in the first game, beating the Aggies by only one point. After a spirited game one, the rest of the weekend would not bring the same competitive spirit. New Mexico State coach Kathy Rodolph said the loss in the first game put her team on its heels.
â€œI think after the first loss on Friday we got a little bit on our heels, and were kind of playing catch up,â€ Rodolph said.
Fridayâ€™s win was a milestone for Wright. It was win number 1,300 for the NCAAâ€™s winningest coach.
â€œIt means Iâ€™ve had a lot of good ball players in my career, in my lifetime,â€ Wright said. â€œThose are their wins.â€
Both games Saturday were not as close. New Mexico could never catch up to the performances from Fresno Stateâ€™s seniors. It was evident that the seniors came to play on senior night.
In the final game of the series, seniors Jenna Cervantez and Ashley White both blasted solo shots in to the stands.
â€œIt definitely felt good, because I didnâ€™t feel I contributed as much as I wanted to this weekend,â€ Cervantez said.
Cervantez called the hit a top five highlight in her career.
On the second day, the Fresno State bats were too much for New Mexico Stateâ€™s pitchers. Rodolph said Fresno Stateâ€™s batting strength proved too much for her bullpen.
â€œTheyâ€™re solid one to nine and they understand their jobs,â€ Rodolph said. â€œIt was a challenge for my pitchers to really mix it up.â€
The biggest moment at the plate may have belonged to senior Samantha Legorreta.
Legorreta made her second plate appearance of her career. Legorreta did not get the hit, but a fielderâ€™s choice allowed her to get on base.
On the defensive side, both Lindsay Milchovich and Michelle Palazuelos got the thumbs up to start in place of regular starters Nicole Angene and Brooke Phipps. Palazuelos made the most of the situation and not only snagged a potential home run in center field, but snagged the play of the game.
Wright said she was impressed from the performances from all of her seniors.
â€œI thought they all did a really good job,â€ Wright said. â€œThey just stayed with it until their time came.â€
The WAC Tournament begins Wednesday in Honolulu. Fresno State enters the tournament second in the WAC behind Nevada. Fresno State will begin the tournament against New Mexico State at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Mackin not returning
Fresno State pitcher Robin Mackin said she will not be returning to Fresno State next season.
The junior redshirted this season to prepare for the olympics with the Canadian National Team.
She said that she will be searching for other options next season.
Mackin was the ace of the Bulldogsâ€™ pitching staff last season, but was quickly replaced by rising star Melloh this season. Reminisces