`Dogs Open 2013 with Fresno State Kick-Off

Feb. 7, 2013

By Theresa Kurtz

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State softball opens the 2013 season with its annual kick-off tournament.

The Bulldogs begin their first season under Trisha Ford on Friday, Feb. 8 against UTEP on 4:30 p.m. The opening weekend tournament runs Feb. 8-10 featuring the Bulldogs, Miners, UC Riverside, UC Davis, Southern Miss and Sacramento State.

The 'Dogs return 13 from last year's roster and five starters to go with eight newcomers, which include six freshmen and two transfers.

Among those returning to the diamond are the top three offensive threats from 2012. Brooke Ortiz, Stesha Brazil and Brenna Moss combined for 165 hits, 20 doubles, six home runs and 70 RBI.

The 2013 newcomers are led by Hannah Harris and Jillian Compton, who will compete for time in the circle. The Bulldogs will look to fill the starting role on the mound that was left vacant after Michelle Moses and Mackenzie Oakes graduated. Whitney Smith and Taylor Langdon are other freshmen that will be vying for time in the lineup.

790 ESPN the Deuce is broadcasting four of five Fresno State games this weekend with Christian Lukens and Andrew Haynes delivering the action from Bulldog Diamond. Live stats of all games in the Fresno State Kick-Off Tournament are available at GoBulldogs.com, where video streaming of Fresno State's games is also available under All-Access.

Ford Era Begins
Trisha Ford became the fourth head coach in the history of the 35-year program. She comes to Fresno State after serving the last nine years at Stanford, including the previous four seasons when she held the title of associate head coach. In her nine years with the Cardinal, Ford helped guide Stanford to a 385-155 (.713) overall record and to the NCAA Tournament each and every year she was with the team.

'Dogs Top Offensive Threats Return in 2013
The Bulldogs' top four offensive threats from a year ago return in 2013. Juniors Brooke Ortiz, Stesha Brazil, Vonnie Martin and sophomore Brenna Moss had the top four batting averages in 2012. Ortiz hit a team-high .312, while Brazil had a .304 average, Martin hit .287 and Moss had a batting average of .283.

Bulldogs Start First Season in Mountain West
Fresno State joined the Mountain West Conference in July of 2012. The 2013 season will be the first season the Bulldogs compete as members of the MW. The 'Dogs made the move to the MW with Nevada. Fresno State also faces familiar foes Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV, who are all members of the MW in softball. The Bulldogs have faced every member and compiled a 202-46 mark against teams in the MW.

Three's a Charm
Three Bulldogs were among the top 30 in the nation in triples hit a year ago. Sophomore Brenna Moss tied for 14th in the country with five triples. Juniors Stesha Brazil and Brooke Ortiz ranked 28th nationally each hitting four triples in 2012. As a team, the 'Dogs were 21st in the nation in triples per game with 0.25 a game.

"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" -- Bulldog softball opens the season with the Fresno State Kickoff Tournament Feb. 8-10 at Bulldog Diamond. Catch all the action on 790 ESPN the Deuce, home Bulldog softball. Stay connected with the Bulldogs on Facebook and Instagram (fresnostateathletics), along with Twitter (@FSAthletics).