Fresno State Picked to Win 2016 Mountain West Softball Title


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fresno State has been picked to repeat as Mountain West softball champions by the Conference’s nine head coaches. The Bulldogs collected eight of nine first-place votes and 64 total points. San Diego State garnered the remaining first-place nod and finished second in the voting with 57 points.

San José State was tabbed to finish third with 49 points. New Mexico is fourth with 34 points, followed by UNLV in fifth with 31 points. Teams six through eight are separated by just two points as Utah State ranks sixth with 28 tallies, while Colorado State (27 points) and Nevada (26 points) rank seventh and eighth, respectively. Boise State rounds out the poll in ninth place with eight points. 

Fresno State returns seven starters and 11 letterwinners from the 2015 squad that captured the program’s first Mountain West title with a 20-4 league mark (40-16 overall). Led by reigning MW Coach of the Year, Trisha Ford, the Bulldogs return 2015 Conference Pitcher of the Year, senior right-hander Jill Compton, and Defensive Player of the Year, senior catcher Paige Gumz. Compton compiled a 28-11 record last season with a 2.25 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 242.1 innings pitched. Gumz hit .275 with three home runs and 33 RBIs in 2015, while starting all 56 games.   

San Diego State brings back five starters and seven letterwinners from its 2015 squad that finished second in the MW standings with an 18-6 Conference record (38-20 overall). Headlining the Aztecs group of returners are first-team All-Conference honorees Eric Romero and Jenavee Peres. In 2015, the right-handed junior, Romero, went 36-17 in the circle with a 3.29 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 3.18.2 innings tossed. Peres, the reigning MW Freshman of the Year, batted .347 with nine long balls and 48 RBIs as a catcher.  

The 2016 softball season gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 11.

2016 Mountain West Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Place Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Fresno State (8) 64
2. San Diego State (1) 57
3. San José State 49
4. New Mexico 34
5. UNLV 31
6. Utah State 28
7. Colorado State 27
8. Nevada 26
9. Boise State 8


2016 MW Softball Team Capsules (Listed in order of predicted finish)

FRESNO STATE (2015: 40-16, 20-4 MW – 1st)
Starters Returning/Lost: 7/2
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/5
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 3/1

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Malia Rivers, Jr., INF, 56-56, .371, 72, 40, 0, 30
Kierra Willis, Jr., OF, 55-55, .364, 59, 43, 8, 55
Whitney Smith, Jr., OF, 56-56, .266, 34, 17, 1, 21
Alyssa Villalpando, Sr., INF, 53-53, .361, 57, 24, 6, 33
Bria Kennedy, Sr., OF, 48-47, .286, 34, 25, 2, 23
Paige Gumz, Sr., C, 56-56, .275, 46, 22, 3, 33

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB                       
Jill Compton, Sr., 47-43, 28-11, 242.1, 2.25, 242, 76
Hannah Harris, Sr., 26-12, 9-3, 89.2, 2.26, 40, 10

SAN DIEGO STATE (2015: 38-20, 18-6 MW – 2nd)
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/4 
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 7/6 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 4/0

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Jenavee Peres, So., C, 55-52, .347, 58, 30, 9, 48
Taylor Stewart, So., 1B/UTL, 45-29, .329, 28, 6, 4, 21
Leia Ruiz, Sr., UTL, 54-51, .308, 49, 25, 0, 22 
Sydnee Cable, Jr., 1B/OF, 57-49, .291, 43, 23, 7, 18

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Erica Romero, Jr., 56-47, 36-17, 318.2, 3.29, 171, 108

SAN JOSÉ STATE (2015: 37-19, 17-7 MW – 3rd)
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/2
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 14/7 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 3/3

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos.  GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Jessie Hufstetler, Sr., 1B, 55-55, .435, 73, 44, 11, 69
Jessica Madrid, Sr., OF, 56-56, .439, 79, 53, 1, 42
Erin Rodriguez, Sr., DP, 51-50, .341, 44, 14, 2, 25
Alyssa Martinez, Sr., INF, 55-53, .318, 54, 24, 4, 47
Emma Entzminger, So., INF, 52-45, 34, 33, 1, 17 

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Katelyn Linford, Jr., 18-8, 7-4, 52.0, 6.06, 33, 25

NEW MEXICO (2015: 29-25, 13-11 MW - 4th)
Starters Returning/Lost: 7/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/6 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 4/1

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Mariah Rimmer, Sr., OF, 54-54, .378, 65, 33, 6, 38
Jasmine Casados, Jr., INF, 47-45, .386, 56, 27, 6, 40
Chelsea Johnson, So., C, 48-46, .285, 39, 22, 6, 37
Michala Erickson, Jr., INF, 54-54, .273, 41, 32, 8, 27

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Lauren Soles, Sr., 23-18, 10-5, 96.0, 3.83, 46, 75 
Krissy Fortner, So., 38-8, 9-5, 92.0, 2.82, 58, 39

UNLV (2015: 25-30, 11-13 MW – T5th) 
Starters Returning/Lost: 11/8 
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 5/4 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 4/3

Top Returning Players 
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI 
Garie Blando, Sr., SS, 55-55, .389, 70, 55, 15, 46
Emily Haslinger, Sr., C, 48-45, .310, 39, 17, 9, 31
Alyssa Cordova, Sr., 2B, 51-50, .287, 39, 27, 8, 33
Jadelyn Yadao-Valdez, So., UTL, 48-41, .253, 21, 18, 0, 7

Top Returning Pitchers 
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB 
Morgan Ettinger, Jr., 36-21, 10-11, 128.1, 4.69, 54, 48 
Kwyn Cooper, Jr., 26-13, 9-4, 79.1, 4.32, 38, 32

UTAH STATE (2015: 19-36, 11-13 MW – T5th)
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/4 
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 9/5 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 3/1

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Sarah Chow, Sr., OF, 49-46, .413, 64, 30, 0, 12
Alleyah Armendariz, Jr., P/DP, 53-52, .344, 54, 24, 12, 31 
Victoria Saucedo, Jr., INF, 35-31, .280, 28, 17, 4, 13
Noelle Johnson, Sr., P, 43-39, .352, 38, 22, 7, 26

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Noelle Johnson, Sr., 40-30, 16-16, 206.1, 4.04, 131, 74

COLORADO STATE (2015: 27-29, 8-16 MW – 7th)
Starters Returning/Lost: 7/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 12/7 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 3/2

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Haley Hutton, Jr., INF, 56-56, .363, 65, 44, 2, 26
Savannah Clark, So., INF, 55-55, .318, 54, 23, 2, 36
Madison Kilcrease, So, UTL, 53-43, .283, 32, 23, 0, 9
Jaelyn Manzanares, C, Sr., 56-56, .216, 33, 24, 7, 36

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Logan Losh, So., 15-4, 4-1, 43.2, 3.69, 27, 32
Holly Reinke, Sr., 36-28, 12-19, 150.0, 5.23, 88, 72

NEVADA (2015: 16-37, 6-18 MW – 8th)
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/2
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 12/5 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 2/1

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Megan Sweet, Sr., SS, 53-53, .405, 68, 33, 10, 48
Jasmine Jenkins, Sr., OF, 53-53, .357, 54, 29, 4, 28 
Jennifer Purcell, So. 1B, 33-27, .361, 24, 6, 1, 14 
Amanda Weis, Sr., UTL, 45-41, .275, 39, 17, 8, 30

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
McKenna Isenberg, Jr., 38-19, 5-14, 141.2, 4.60, 94, 50

BOISE STATE (2015: 12-42, 4-20 MW - 9th)
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/4
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/9 
Pitchers Returning/Lost: 2/2

Top Returning Players
Player, Cl., Pos. GP-GS Avg. H R HR RBI
Kayla Clausen, Sr., OF, 53-39, .339, 38, 25, 5, 16
Sara Ketelsleger, INF, So., 54-54, .278, 45, 24, 3, 26
Teauna Hughes, OF/1B, Sr., 50-47, .263, 36, 20, 4, 17
Makenzie Sullivan, INF/OF, So., 52-52, .259, 37, 21, 6, 30

Top Returning Pitchers
Pitcher, Cl. GP-GS W-L IP ERA K BB
Nicole Wilson, Sr., 38-19, 3-12, 145.2, 4.85, 36, 88

--mw--