Tempe, Ariz. – The Spartans offense has been building momentum in its first three games of the year. On Wednesday the San José State softball team erupted for 18 hits in five innings and hammered the Seattle Redhawks 14-6 on day two of the Kajikawa Classic.
The top of the Spartans lineup – Jessica Madrid, Michelle Cox, Jessie Hufstetler and Sharon-Renae Estrada – were a combined 11-of-16 with 13 RBI and 10 runs. Estrada drove in seven in going 3-for-4 with two homeruns. Cox was 4-for-4 with four runs. Hufstetler got five RBI off three hits in four-plate appearance and Madrid had an RBI, scored twice with a single hit. As a team the Spartans banged out 18 hits and struck out just twice in 33 plate appearances.
“Our first four hitters were like a 'Murderer’s Row' today,” head coach Peter Turner said. “We’ve got offense. We can hit. What concerns me right now is our defense and pitching. Defensively, we cleaned some things up from yesterday, but we have to be better and our pitching must perform. We have to limit what our opponents are able to do if we are going to reach out team goals.”
Estrada’s first bomb was a two-run shot in the top of the first, which staked the Spartans (2-1) a 2-0 lead.
In the second Madrid, singled in a run, with two on and nobody out. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Hufstetler picked up her first of three hits on the day and her first of five RBI with a single to right. Estrada then stepped to the plate and crushed a 1-1 pitch over the fence for a grand slam and her sixth RBI in two plate appearances.
Estrada’s shot signaled the end of the day for Seattle (0-2) starter Mandie Sugita. She gave up eight runs, all earned, in 1.1 innings of work and was tagged with the loss.
Katelyn Linford, the San José State starter, struggled as well. In the bottom of the first she gave up three runs on three hits. After surrendering a leadoff double in the bottom of the second, Coach Turner lifted Linford in favor of Allison Lang.
Lang saw the first batter she faced, Molly Campbell, take her out on a two-run homerun down the left field line. Seattle got a one-out single later in the inning, but left the runner stranded and the teams went to the third with San José State leading 8-5.
Neither team scored in the third inning, but in the top of the fourth the Spartans offense continued its hit parade. Michelle Cox tripled to open the frame and Hufstetler brought her home on a two-run bomb to left center to extend the Spartans lead to 10-5.
In the fifth, Madrid reached on an error with one out. Cox followed her with a single and Hufstetler brought them both around on an RBI double. Estrada then doubled in Chelsea Jenner,who had entered as a pinch runner for Hufstetler. Two batters later, Daisy Conchas singled home the Spartans final run of the inning. Going to the bottom of the fifth the Spartans led 14-5.
Seattle put one run up in the bottom of the inning, but was run-ruled in the 14-6 final score.
Lang pitched four innings, scattering five hits and giving up two runs. She struck out four and didn’t allow any walks in picking up her first win of the year
San José State takes the field two times tomorrow afternoon. They face Utah Valley at 4:00 p.m. and then Portland State at 6:15 p.m.