Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics – 

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The Fresno State softball team defeated No. 25/20 Mississippi State 3-1 on Saturday night at Big League Dreams Complex, earning the program’s first ranked win since 2021.

Fresno State (9-4) chalked seven hits while limiting Mississippi State (11-3) to only four hits. Sophomore Kennedy Bunker led the ‘Dogs at the plate with two hits.

Serayah Neiss and Taylor Gilmore split innings in the circle. The duo combined for 10 strikeouts. Neiss recorded her second win of the season, while Gilmore logged her second save.

Fresno State struck first as Keahilele Mattson hit a two-out home run in the first inning. In the bottom of the frame, Neiss and the defense sent the Mississippi State batters down in order.

Mississippi State started the second inning with a lead-off single, but a strikeout and a double play would strand the runner.

After two scoreless innings, Fresno State extended its lead in the fourth. Lauren Almeida got the offense going with a single to left field and took an extra base on a fielding error. Juliana Wilson sent an RBI-double to the wall, doubling the Bulldogs’ lead.

Mississippi State had two runners on base in the bottom of the inning, but Neiss and the defense went to work to strand them.

In the top of the sixth, the Fresno State batters were retired in order. Gilmore returned the favor by striking out the side.

Fresno State added an insurance run in the seventh. Bunker hit a lead-off single through the left side, and Bella Rocco brought in the run with a double down the left field line.

Mississippi State attempted the comeback after a walk and a fielding error allowed two runners to get on base with one out. The next batter grounded out to the short stop, and Gilmore finished the game with a strikeout. Gilmore tied her career-high with six strikeouts in 3.0 innings.


  • Fresno State recorded its first ranked win since defeating No. 23 Minnesota at the 2021 UCLA Regional.
  • Fresno State has won four straight games.
  • 9-4 is the best start to a season since 2020.
  • Keahilele Mattson recorded her second home run of the season.
  • Mattson hit home runs in back-to-back games.
  • Kennedy Bunker has had five games with multiple hits this season.
  • Serayah Neiss improves to 2-1 on the season.
  • Taylor Gilmore earned her second save of the season.
  • Gilmore tied her career-high with six strikeouts.

“This was a big win for our program”, said head coach Stacy May-Johnson. “Tonight we outplayed a SEC team in every facet and our team sent a message to the rest of the country that we are a force. I’m very proud of our young women. They are very deserving of this win.”

Fresno State will face Long Beach State tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. PT before playing Cal Poly at 2:00 p.m. to finish the weekend.