Jessica Garcia drove in a team-best 11 RBI at the Kajikawa Classic.
Feb. 9, 2014
Tempe, Ariz. - The San Jose State University softball team scored eight runs in the sixth inning to knock off Bradley, 8-4, in the final day of the Kajikawa Classic, hosted by Arizona State.
"Bradley had two good pitchers but we didn't play really inspired," Head Coach Peter Turner said. "When that happens, you need a big inning and it was the sixth for us."
Down 4-0 going into the sixth, the Spartans' (6-0) strength at the plate shone through and the team did not have an out until the eighth batter. Singles by Jessie Hufstetler, Jessica Garcia, Jessie Meyer, Sharon-Renae Estrada and Casey Watt opened the inning, and a bases-loaded walk and a Braves (0-5) error scored four. After the inning's first out, two walks and a single scored three more for a 6-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Garcia plated Nicole Schultz, and a Meyer single to left field drove in Alyssa Martinez to cap off San Jose State's eight-run inning for the final 8-4 score.
"Everyone came together and contributed quality at bats," Turner said.
Hufstetler led San Jose State's hitting prowess against Bradley. She went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Meyer batted 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
For the Spartans, Katelyn Linford (2-0) allowed three hits and three runs with four strikeouts. Said Turner of the freshman, "Linford did well enough to keep us in the game." In 1.2 innings of relief, Allison Lang gave up two hits and one run, striking out two.
Jaelen Hull (0-3) suffered the loss for the Braves, giving up six hits and four runs in five innings in the circle.
The Spartans finish the Kajikawa Classic at Arizona State undefeated, posting a 6-0 record to open the 2014 season. It marks the first time San Jose State has swept its season-opening tournament. Jessie Hufstetler led the Spartans at the plate, averaging .700 (14-for-20) with two home runs and scoring 13 runs. Sharon-Renae Estrada also blasted two home runs, going 8-for-16 with three runs scored and eight RBI. Alyssa Martinez scored 10 runs, batting .444 (8-for-18) and driving in seven runners. Jessica Garcia's home run and eight hits collected a team-high 11 RBI.
Despite the Spartans' exceptional start to the season, Turner noted areas his team will work on before they return to Arizona State next weekend for the Littlewood Tournament. "We need to get back to what we do well," he said. "We have to shore up our defense and work on getting ahead in the count when we pitch. But overall, they've played extremely well for being such a young team."
San Jose State returns to Arizona State on Friday, February 14, for the Littlewood Tournament. The team's first game is against Delaware State on Friday at 11:30 a.m. (MT).