Spartans Play Long Ball In Season Opening Win

Feb. 8, 2018

Final Stats

Tempe, Ariz. – The San José State Spartans opened the 2018 season with a bang.  They hit four homers, one of which was a seventh-inning grand slam from Kaelin Amrein, in a 16-12 victory over the South Dakota Coyotes on Thursday afternoon.

“With such and young and inexperienced pitching staff,” said head coach Peter Turner. "Coming into this game and the season, we knew that our hitting and defense would have to carry the load for us and today they did.”

The Spartans banged out 13 hits including five for extra bases on day one of the Kajikawa Classic.

In the first game of her college career, redshirt freshman Grace Garvey had the first of two grand slams for SJSU. It was part of a nine-run fifth inning, which saw San José State come from a seven-run deficit to a 12-10 lead.

Madison Aurin and Brittany Abacherli had the Spartans other two homers and Cassidy Clark (2-for-4, 2R) added a double.

The Coyotes jumped on the Spartans (1-0) putting up a crooked number in each of the first five innings and led 6-0 heading to the top of the third.



With two outs, Abacherli (2-for-3, 3R, 2RBI, HR) got SJSU on the board with a solo shot to dead center. Two batters later, following Clark’s double, Aurin singled. On a throwing error by the second baseman, pinch runner Isabel Gonzalez-Velarde scored to make it 6-2 after two and a half.

USD (0-2) got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning. An Abacherli RBI-single in the fourth got it to 8-3, but South Dakota scored two more to make it 10-3 in the bottom of the frame.

That’s when the Spartans’ bats got busy. In the fifth, they scored nine runs on six hits and one USD error.

Aurin (3-for-4, 2R, 3RBI, HR) started things with a leadoff solo homer to left. After three successive singles loaded the bases, Garvey (1-for-2, 2R, 4RBI, HR) unloaded them with a blast to center. SJSU then loaded the bases with one out. Aurin came back around to bat and promptly drove in two more runs on a single to left, tying it at 10-10.

The Spartans loaded the bases for a third time in the fifth and scored a run on a wild pitch. A Makayla Englestad (1-for-3, R, RBI) sacrifice fly put SJSU into the lead, 12-10, for the first time in the game.

The Coyotes get tied it back up in the sixth with a two-run home run. It was one of five homers that Spartan pitchers allowed.

But in the seventh, following a single sandwiched between a pair of walks, Amrein (2-for-3, 2R, 4RBI, HR) hammered a shot to center put SJSU up 16-12.

Sophomore pitcher Desiree Severance (1-0) pitched the final 3.2 innings, including a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, to earn her first win in a Spartans’ jersey. Freshman Caroline Bowman started the game surrendering six runs in 2.0 innings. She was lifted for Morgan Orchard, a redshirt freshman, who gave up four runs in 1.1 innings.

“Our young pitchers learned tonight that they need to start pitching and stop throwing,” Turner said. “We gave up four runs on walks and four home runs. Most lessons are learned when you lose, we were fortunate today to learn our lessons in a win.”

The Spartans game against Missouri, scheduled for 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, was cancelled due to travel issues that the Tigers experienced earlier in the day.

SJSU continues its play in the Kajikawa Classic on Friday with a pair of games. The day starts at 2:15 p.m. (MT) with a game against #11/12 Tennessee and concludes at 7:30 p.m. (MT) against Purdue.


San Jose State 16, South Dakota 12 (Feb 08, 2018 at Tempe, Ariz.)


San Jose State...... 002 190 4 - 16 13 1     (1-0)

South Dakota........ 422 202 0 - 12 9 4     (0-2)


Pitchers: San Jose State - Bowman, Caroline; ORCHARD, Morgan(3); SEVERANCE, Desiree(4) and

Garvey, Grace; Avila, Alyssa. South Dakota - Lisko; Durham(5) and Rogers.

Win-SEVERANCE, Desiree(1-0) Loss-Lisko(0-1) T-7:15 pm A-350

HR SJ - Abacherli, Brittany; Aurin, Madison; Amrein, Kaelin; Garvey, Grace.

HR USD - Winckler; Holscher; Fernandez 2; Steinfeldt.

Weather: Sunny, 75

Lisko faced 3 batters in the 5th.

Game: SJ-SD