May 8, 2012
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Louisiana Tech will face Fresno State in the first day of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament as the two teams will clash Wednesday night at 8 p.m. CT at the New Mexico State Softball Complex.
Tech (23-31) enters the event as the No. 6 seed while Fresno State (33-21) enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed. It marks the second straight year that the Lady Techsters and Bulldogs have met in the first game of the WAC Tournament as LA Tech defeated Fresno State 2-0 last year in Fresno.
Hawaii, the regular season WAC champion, and BYU are the top two seeds and will receive a first day bye in the event while 4th seeded San Jose State will face 5th seeded Nevada in Wednesday's first game at 5:30 p.m. CT. New Mexico State, who was last year's WAC regular season and tournament champion, and Utah State both failed to qualify for this year's event.
This marks the seventh straight year that head coach Sarah Dawson has led her team to the WAC Tournament as the Lady Techsters join perennial NCAA powers Hawaii and Fresno State as the only three programs to have qualified every year since 2006.
Although Tech enters the event as the lowest seed, the Lady Techsters boast a history of success as the underdog in the WAC Tournament. In its six previous appearances, Tech is 9-10 overall with all nine wins coming against higher seeded teams, including seven of its wins against the top three seeds each year.
Fresno State, which is the only Division I program in the country to have qualified for every NCAA Tournament since 1981, enters this week's event following Sunday's announcement that Hall of Fame coach Margie Wright will be retiring following this season. Wright has won 1,454 games during her 33 year career, which includes a six-year stint at Illinois State and a 27-year span at Fresno State. She led the Bulldogs to the 1998 national championship title.
Tech and Fresno State just completed a three-game series at Bulldog Diamond this past weekend where the Bulldogs won 4-0 in the first two games before the Lady Techsters captured the finale 6-4. Meghan Knowles blasted the game-winning two-run home run in the seventh while Melanie Goff went the distance in the circle.
Fresno State leads the all-time series 33-7 against the Lady Techsters although LA Tech has handed the Bulldogs one loss in each of the past six seasons. Tech has never defeated Fresno State twice in the same season.
Wednesday night's pitching matchup will most likely see Tech's Michelle Jones (14-15, 2.54 ERA) against Fresno State's Michelle Moses (21-14, 1.98 ERA). Jones lost both starts this past weekend against the Bulldogs despite allowing only a total of three earned runs in the two games while Moses split her two starts against LA Tech.
Fans can follow all of the Lady Techsters action this week at the WAC Tournament by numerous platforms, including gametracker, live audio stream, live video stream and twitter. Log onto www.latechsports.com and click on the pregame story to find out more information.
ACTION: LA Tech vs. Fresno State
WHAT: 2012 WAC Softball Tournament
WHERE: Las Cruces, New Mexico
WHEN: Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT
VIDEO STREAM: WACTV on www.wacsports.com (paid platform)
INTERNET AUDIO: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/latech.portal# (free)