|Softball Face Three Nationally-Ranked Squads|
(All times in PST)
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans head to Las Vegas this weekend for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. San Jose State opens the tournament on Thursday, February 14, against tournament hosts UNLV at 6:45 p.m. Three of the Spartans' six upcoming games are against nationally-ranked opponents.
HEAD COACH: Peter Turner is in his seventh year at San Jose State with a 149-188 record.
LIVE STATS: Live stats for the most of the games will be available through a link on SJSUSpartans.com.
UNLV: The Rebels started its season with a 2-3 record at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic. In five games started, Tayler Aleman led the team with six hits. She also had one double, one home run and three runs and RBI. Jaexie Balilea had a .417 batting average over four games and her six RBI were a team high. On the pitching staff, Amanda Oliveto has UNLV's lowest ERA (2.67) in 18.1 innings pitched with a 2-1 record. Lisa Dodd is at the helm of the Rebels' program, in her first season.
HAWAI'I: #23/20 Hawai'i started the season with a 5-1 record, due in part to four of their players driving in multiple RBI. The Rainbow Wahine were led by junior Sharla Kliebenstein, who hit .333 in the ceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. She was 5-for-15 at the plate with a double and three RBI, while sophomore catcher Kayla Wartner hit .313 (5-for-16), scoring three runs with two doubles. Senior pitcher Kaia Parnaby will shoulder much of the pitching responsibilities this season. The reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week threw in all six games this past week, posting a 3-1 record with two saves. Bob Coolen is in his 22nd year as Hawai'i's head coach.
UTAH VALLEY: The Wolverines (4-1) have experienced strong hitting in their first five games of the season, led by Dara Kosanke and Dynasty Lauvai. With a team-leading .538 batting average, Kosanke is 7-for-13 with four runs scored. Lauvai's seven RBI are the most on the Wolverines, with two home runs and one double. Tiffany Mills has bolstered Utah Valley's bullpen, with a 3-0 record in as many complete games, and a 0.74 ERA. Interim head coach Rachel Hartgrove is in her seventh season coaching at Utah Valley.
UCLA: #19/18 UCLA has enjoyed a 3-1 start to its season. Gracie Goulder has been the Bruins' best hitter over that span, boasting a .500 batting average with two doubles, two RBI and three runs. Jessica Hall has driven in the most runs on the team (3), hitting 3-for-8 with one triple and one home run. In 12.1 innings pitched, Ally Carda has a 2-0 record, struck out 19 and allowed 14 hits and five runs. In her seventh season at the helm of the Bruins' program is Kelly Inouye-Perez.
CALIFORNIA: #8 Cal has allowed 13 runs from its opponents to open its season at the Kajikawa Classic 2-2, the team's slowest start since 2008. Sophomore Breana Kostreba has had a quality start for the Golden Bears, going 5-for-12 with two solo homers, four runs, and four RBI. Senior pitcher Jolene Henderson earned her first win against Indiana, Cal's final game of the Kajikawa Classic, fanning four batters in the process. In her 26th year as the Golden Bears' head coach is Diane Ninemire.
IDAHO STATE: Vicky Galasso led the Bengals (2-3) offense last weekend at the St. George Tournament by hitting .563 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 16 at bats. With 22.1 innings of work, Amanda Fitzsimmons has seen the most action of Idaho State's pitching staff. With a 1-3 record, she has struck out 17, while allowing 34 hits and 22 runs. Julie Wright is in her third season as the Bengals' head coach.
SPARTANS SWEEP WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Markesha Collins was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Hitter of the Week and Allison Lang is the conference's Pitcher of the Week for February 4-10 after their performances at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., hosted by Arizona State. This is the first honor for both.
Collins, a senior outfielder from Citrus Heights, Calif., led the Spartans to a 4-2 record at the Kajikawa Classic. She was 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored over the six games. Collins also posted three multi-hit games, stole two bases, and walked four times.
Lang, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, Calif., threw a two-hit shutout in her only appearance of the week. In her first-career complete game, allowed just two hits with one walk in 6.0 innings of work. Lang also struck out three. Lang had a no-hitter through the first five and 2/3 innings and faced just three batters over the minimum.
SPARTANS VOTED SECOND-PLACE WAC FINISH: San Jose State was picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), following a vote by the conference's softball coaches. The Spartans received one point less than projected WAC title-winners, Texas State. After they were voted to finish tied for sixth in the WAC last preseason, San Jose State ended 2012 in fourth, the program's best conference finish in six years and its highest under head coach Peter Turner's tutelage.
The Spartans' starting pitcher, Pridmore is only second pitcher in school history to strikeout 200 or more batters in a season, when she recorded 201 strikeouts in 2012. Named to the All-WAC first and Tournament teams last season, she also became the San Jose State career saves leader in 2012 (10).
Cox was voted on the team after she
earned a 2012 All-WAC second team spot. San Jose State's starting right
fielder, Cox stole a WAC-best 26 bases and led her team with a .366 batting
average, 60 hits, and 36 runs scored.
2013 Preseason Softball All-WAC Team
SPARTANS SEE LITTLE TURNOVER: Alongside All-WAC Preseason Team selections Cox and Pridmore, San Jose State's lineup is bolstered by the return of 11 letterwinners, including nine starters and two pitchers. Senior Markesha Collins had a team-high 40 runs scored and the Spartans' third-best batting average, a .275 (42-for-153). Junior Jessica Garcia drove in the most runs on the team (38), and her nine doubles were the second-most on the team.
NEWCOMERS: Eleven newcomers are on the Spartans' roster, including two redshirts and onejunior. Sacramento State transfer Devin Caldwell highlights San Jose State's newcomer list, as she joins the Spartans following her 2012 Pacific Coast Softball Conference's (PCSC) all-Coastal Division Team honorable mention selection at second base.
PRIDMORE'S PLACE IN HISTORY: Starting pitcher Amanda Pridmore is listed in 10 San Jose State career lists and, in 2012, set the San Jose State saves record (10). The Modesto, Calif., native is second in strikeouts with 473 and hit batters at 33. She is fourth in wins at 44 and appearances at 121, fifth in games started at 85, innings pitched at 603.4 and strikeouts per 9 innings at 7.04, sixth in complete games with 54, and is tied for ninth in shutouts at 8.
Devin Caldwell has four starts on second base in six games for San Jose State. At the Kajikawa Classic, she went 3-for-10 with two runs and one stolen base, against Cal Poly. She had a single-game high two hits against New Mexico.
Markesha Collins has started all six games for the Spartans as either an outfielder or designated hitter. She was named the WAC Hitter of the Week for Feb. 4-10 for leading the Spartans to a 4-2 record at the Kajikawa Classic. She was 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored over the six games. Collins also posted three multi-hit games, stole two bases, and walked four times.
Michelle Cox has started every game for the Spartans this season in either the outfield or at first base. She stole a team-high three bases at the Kajikawa Classic, two of which she stole against Cal Poly. She went 6-for-21. Her best game was against Cal Poly, when she had two runs and two hits on four at-bats. She has a five-game hit streak going in to the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.
Sharon-Renae Estrada has played one game at second base this season, against New Mexico.
Madison Fish has one game as the Spartans' starting pitcher. Against CSU Northridge, she pitched 3.2 innings, striking out one, walking two and allowing two hits and runs each, while posting a 2.45 ERA.
Cheryl Freitas has started three games as either an infielder or designated hitter, and played two games as a pinch hitter, for San Jose State. She drove in the most RBI on the team (5) at the Kajikawa Classic and was 6-for-13 (.462) with one home run, in the CSU Northridge game. She had a four-game hit streak (Feb. 7-Feb. 10) and three-game RBI streak (Feb. 7-Feb. 9).
BranDee Garcia has started three and played in five games for San Jose State as a shortstop. She went 1-for-9 at the Kajikawa Classic, and had one double, one run, and two RBI, all against New Mexico.
Jessica Garcia has started every game as the Spartans' catcher. She has six hits on 19 at-bats, and drew in two RBI against Portland State. She was walked three times, two of which were against New Mexico, and had two doubles (against Portland State and Cal Poly). Garcia recorded multi-hit games twice (against Oregon and Cal Poly).
Vanessa House has started every game this season for San Jose State in the outfield. She had the most runs (6) and doubles (3) for the Spartans at the Kajikawa Classic after going 8-for-19. She had one RBI and a stolen base, both of which came against Cal Poly. She begins the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic with a two-game doubles and multi-hit streak.
Jessie Hufstetler started four-of-five games played at first base for San Jose State at the Kajikawa Classic. She went 4-for-12 with three RBI and three runs. Against Portland State, she had three runs, one double, was walked once and stole a base.
Allison Lang was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 4-10 after she threw a two-hit shutout in her only appearance on the week. In her first-career complete game, she posted a 0.00 ERA, allowing just two hits with one walk in 6.0 innings of work. Lang also struck out three. Lang had a no-hitter through the first five and 2/3 innings and faced just three batters over the minimum.
Alyssa Martinez has played in three games with one start as a pinch runner or shortstop for the Spartans. Her lone start at the Kajikawa Classic came against Cal Poly, when she had three at-bats.
Dorothy Morentin has played one game as the Spartans' catcher.
Briana Pontecorvo has played five games for San Jose State as pinch hitter, first baseman, and designated hitter, and started three, with two of those starts as designated hitter. She was 2-for-10 with one run and double, and three RBI. Against CSU Northridge, she drove in two runs with one double and against New Mexico, she was walked twice and her one at-bat yielded an RBI.
Amanda Pridmore has a 3-2 record, including three starts and two complete games, with a 4.97 ERA for San Jose State. In 22.2 innings pitched, she struck out 18, walked eight, allowed 22 hits and 13 runs. Her best game was against Portland State, when she retired six batters and allowed three hits.
Taylor Purdy has started three games at third base or shortstop for the Spartans. Against CSU Northridge, She was 2-for-3 with one run and was walked. Versus Portland State, her one at-bat yielded two runs. She was also walked and stole a base.
Jordan Sauceda has started one game as a right-handed pitcher for San Jose State, against Cal Poly. In 4.2 innings pitched, she posted a 3.38 ERA while striking out two, walking three, and allowing seven hits and two runs. She appeared in 0.2 innings against Oregon, where she posted one strike out.
Nicole Schultz has four starts in six games for the Spartans. At the Kajikawa Classic, she was 3-for-10 with three RBI, two runs, and one double.
Marissa Toy pinch ran for the Spartans against CSU Northridge.
Casey Watt has one at-bat in four games for San Jose State as a pinch runner, pinch hitter, and designated hitter.
Annica Wolfe has started five games this season for the Spartans. She went 2-for-13 with one run, RBI, and walk. Against New Mexico, she went 2-for-4 and drove in one RBI.
2013 WAC TOURNAMENT: The 2013 WAC Tournament takes place in Ruston, La., May 8-11. Hosted by Louisiana Tech, the conference's top six teams advance to the double elimination tournament.
UP NEXT: The Spartans return to San Jose for its first home game of 2013, on February 19 at 2:30 p.m. against Sacramento State. San Jose State then plays in the Santa Clara Tournament at SJSU Field February 22-23, against Fresno State, CSU Northridge, Saint Mary's (CA), and Idaho State. The Spartans wrap up the weekend with a double-header on February 24 at 11:00 a.m. against St. John's (N.Y.) University.