Football

Perfect again, coach says Dolcini among best ever at Fresno State

Fresno State Athletics

By Ray Hamill — Hailey Dolcini’s remarkable season for the Fresno State Bulldogs reached new heights on Saturday morning.

After pitching a no-hitter on Friday evening, Dolcini followed that less than 24 hours later with her second perfect game of the season.

The statistics have been mind blowing for the former Fortuna Husky and four-time Big 4 MVP, who has now pitched four no-hitters in her past 12 starts, including a pair of perfect games.

And all of this at the NCAA Division-I level.

In two games this weekend, she pitched 12 innings, while striking out an incredible 30 of the 37 batters she faced.

She also didn’t walk a single batter and was just one defensive error by a teammate from tossing back-to-back perfect games.

And that success, according to her coaches, is a testament to how hard Dolcini has worked.

“I have never seen anybody work as hard and deserve more than what she and the team are accomplishing,” Fortuna Huskies head coach Eric Helms said.

Her college coach echoed the sentiment.

“Everything that Hailey Dolcini gets out there, she earns,” Fresno State head coach Linda Garza told the Bulldogs athletics web site. “She works hard all the time. She shows up early and she does her due diligence in her job.”

Dolcini is an inspiration for all young softball players here and an example of what can be achieved, even when coming from a rural area like the North Coast.

But then again, this Ferndale native has been inspiring local athletes for years.

According to some of the Fortuna football coaches, in fact, Dolcini helped inspire them on their way to a state championship in 2017.

One coach told me that the players at football practice would see Dolcini throwing with her father on the softball field every day, working relentlessly on her game, and many of the coaches often cited her as an example for their players.

Fast forward a few years and Dolcini is still working hard, still inspiring, and still performing at an exceptionally high level because of it.

The Bulldogs won Friday’s game 6-0 and followed that on Saturday with a 14-0 win in five innings, giving them a three-game weekend sweep of New Mexico.

“She believes in herself and we believe in her,” Garza added. “I’m so happy she gets to reap these benefits. I love that Hailey is a Bulldog and she is amongst the greats that have pitched here. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to watch a ton of great pitchers come through here and I’m happy to say I’m watching some of the best pitching that Fresno State has ever had.”

Spurred on by their ace in the pitcher’s circle, the Bulldogs have won 18 of their last 20 games to go to 20-7 on the season.

Dolcini is now 12-3 in the circle and has won 11 of the last 12 times she has started with a no-decision, including tossing the four no-hitters in that run.

Her ERA is now down to 0.95.

Next up, the Bulldogs play Santa Clara on Tuesday.

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