FRESNO, Calif. - Seven Fresno State seniors will play their final home games at Bulldog Diamond this weekend, marking the end of their softball careers that has seen them accomplish so much.
Fresno State (31-20, 11-5 WAC) hosts Louisiana Tech (22-29, 7-10) for a three-game series on senior weekend that opens Friday night (6 p.m). Kaitlin Griffin, Rebecca Hall, Courtney Moore, Michelle Moses, Mackenzie Oakes, Andrea Ortega and Kaylan Pollard look to make one lasting impression for Bulldog softball fans.
"When you have a group this large, they mean a lot of different things over four years," head coach Margie Wright said. "Every one of these seniors has made a positive impact on the program, whether it's on the field or off the field. They've brought something to the team and when you can do that, than you can consider your time here a success."
For Griffin, Moses, Oakes and Pollard, the four have been with Fresno State for the past four seasons. The quartette have led the Bulldogs to a 145-80 (.644) record over the past four seasons along with one WAC Championship in 2009.
Ortega has been with the program since 2008, as she received a medical redshirt after being injured early in the 2009 season. With Fresno State's next victory, Ortega will have been a part of 200 victories in her career.
"I'm really most proud of the way our teams have come together over the years and just played softball," Ortega said.
For Moore and Hall, the duo began their careers at other schools before coming to Fresno State.
Moore started at Mississippi State and joined the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2010. In her final year, she ranks No. 5 in the WAC with nine home runs. Hall played two seasons at Miami Dade College before transferring to Fresno State and starting 42 games for the `Dogs in 2011.
Hall said the thing she will cherish most from her career at Fresno State is "the diversity of our team and the friendships that I've made."
Moses is the most decorated among the group of seniors. Her name is all over the record books, most notably ranking No. 2 in career home runs with 57 and No. 6 in batters struck out with 615. Wright credits her with being as complete of a player that any coach could wish for.
"It's hard to find players who have all the qualities; competitiveness, defensive prowess, whether it's pitching or in the field, and offensive power," Wright said. "She has all three. Any time you have someone like that in the program for four years, it's a huge impact. I just think she's great."
Moses is five home runs away from tying the school record and she has also won 48 games in the circle. Combining her wins with Oakes', who has 46 career victories, and the two senior pitchers have given Fresno State a potent 1-2 punch in the circle the last four years.
Many of the seniors pointed out several marquee victories as their favorite moments of their careers.
Moore and Griffin both mentioned the win over No. 7/5 UCLA this season and a pair of impactful home runs they hit in the same game this year - Moore's grand slam and Griffin's three-run walk-off homer that induced the mercy rule in the 9-1 victory over Toledo in the season opener - as their favorite moments.
Oakes echoed those thoughts, saying "from a softball aspect, beating UCLA this year was a favorite and Michigan last year, those were probably my all-time favorite moments." Then she added, "probably any of our times together in the locker room or on the bus," are moments she'll remember.
That win over No. 5/6 Michigan on March 19, 2011 in the Judi Garman Classic also topped the list of favorite moments in the careers of Ortega, Moses and Pollard.
With one final series, the WAC Tournament and the possibility of leading the Bulldogs to their 31st-consecutive NCAA Tournament still lying ahead, this senior class is shooting to etch a couple more shining moments into the vaults of their Bulldog careers.