|Collins' Five-Game Hit Streak Not Enough|
Las Vegas, Nev. - Against two of the nation's top-20 softball clubs, Markesha Collins' five-game hit streak was unable to propel San Jose State softball to a victory on the second day of the Easton Desert Classic.
The Spartans fell to #19/18 UCLA, 8-4, and #9/8 California, 6-0, at the tournament, hosted by UNLV.
"We are playing as well as we did at the Kajikawa Classic," head coach Peter Turner said. "But against these tough competitors, we have to play flawlessly and we are not doing that."
Against UCLA, a home run to center field in the second inning by Jessica Hall put the Bruins on the scoreboard first.
But in the bottom of the third, San Jose State (4-6) doubled up on the Bruins' (5-1) lead. Annica Wolfe led off with a single to left center field and, after the team's first out of the inning, Markesha Collins blasted her team-leading third home run of the season, driving in Marissa Toy, who was pinch running for Wolfe.
The Spartans duplicated its two-run inning during its next at bat. Back-to-back homers by Jessie Hufstetler and Nicole Schultz put San Jose State up by three heading in to the fifth inning. It was the first-career home run for both.
But four walks by Spartan Amanda Pridmore, well-timed hits by the Bruins, and a grand slam by B.B. Bates doomed the Spartans and gifted UCLA a four-run lead, which they maintained.
In her fifth complete game of the season, Pridmore struck out four, allowing 11 hits and four runs.
San Jose State's (4-7) second game of the day was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Golden Bears' (5-2) first three at-bats of the inning were all the team needed.
Danielle Henderson had the lead-off walk and was able to secure second following a wild pitch by Allison Lang. Victoria Jones then singled up the middle and rounded second base on the throw, making way for Henderson cross home plate. Jolene Henderson capped off the rotation with a homer to center field.
Team captain Lindsey Ziegenhirt came through for Cal with one out remaining in the sixth inning. She knocked one out of the park to left center field and Cheyenne Cordes' double with two runners on handed the Golden Bears its second three-run inning of the game.
Collins, who went 1-3, extended her hit streak to five games. Michelle Cox was also 1-3, while Annica Wolfe and Alyssa Martinez had .500 batting averages (1-for-2). For Martinez, it was her first collegiate hit.
Allison Lang fielded the majority of the Spartans' pitching duties. In 5.2 innings, Lang struck out five, giving up nine hits and six runs. Madison Fish relieved Lang to get the Golden Bears final out of the game.
Turner relayed his frustration with the team's winless record at the Easton Desert Classic, saying, "The fact that we out-hit UNLV 8-2 and did not win that game (lost 2-1) is a testimony to our lack of luck in Las Vegas."
Despite the losses, Turner has found positives to take out of the tournament. "Markesha Collins has been on fire," he said. "Also, our outfield has carried us. They have made the big plays, the big catches, and the big hits and that I am happy with."
In the final day of the Easton Desert Classic, San Jose State faces Idaho State at 1:30 p.m.
"Today, we did not do the things we should have done," the Spartans' head coach said. "But I told the team that tomorrow against Idaho State, it is time to start another streak."