Fresno State travels to Mexico

Fresno State freshman outfielder Kindra Hackbarth steps in the batter’s box and awaits the pitch at the ASU Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. (Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics)

The No. 21-ranked Fresno State softball team is ready to take its talents south of the border as it prepares to compete in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico Feb. 16 to 19.

The Bulldogs wrapped up the weekend going 4-1 in the ASU Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, defeating Indiana, Purdue, San Diego and Stanford. Their only loss was to No. 9 Oregon.

Fresno State’s 24-8 victory over Stanford featured six home runs from the ’Dogs and included a program record-breaking 23 RBIs.

Fresno State sophomore pitcher Kamalani Dung has three wins on the season and will look to carry that success to Mexico. The Fresno State ace said she and her teammates are excited to play softball in a place they have never been.

“It’s the first time out of the country for a lot of us,” Dung said.

Head coach Linda Garza said it’s a special opportunity for the team to compete internationally.

“It’s a business trip. We’re going to still pack our swimsuits and be able to enjoy some sunshine, but we do have a goal,” Garza said. “Our goal out there is to come back and to win the games we’re supposed to win. Take care of business and enjoy that opportunity along the way.”

The first-year head coach said the team will look to focus on getting better game by game and continue its offensive consistency.

Fresno State will go toe-to-toe with Mississippi State, Florida Gulf Coast, Cal State Fullerton and Texas Tech.

While the ’Dogs are in Mexico, they will join other teams in visiting local elementary schools and spending time with children.

Fresno State will face off against Mississippi State on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time.

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