Spartans Split On Day One At Kajikawa Classic

Feb. 9, 2017

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Tempe, Ariz. – The 2017 San Jose State softball team won its first game of the season, 7-3 over Creighton, but couldn’t keep the momentum going in its second game, a 5-1 loss to Western Michigan, and earned a split on day one of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona.

“It was a so-so day for us,” said Head Coach Peter Turner. “We’re adjusting to a couple of things we haven’t dealt with a lot this years. First, it was 80+ degrees today and that’s something we are not at all familiar with at this point. Second, we haven’t had much time on dirt this year and because of that I’m playing a lot of people to try to get them as much time on the field as possible.”

San Jose State 7, Creighton 3

Katelyn Linford (1-0) tossed a complete game five-hitter in the first game of the day. She struck out 10 batters while allowing just one extra-base hit.

Brittany Abacherli (0-of-1, R, 2BB) was hit by a pitch leading off the top of the first and moved into scoring position on an illegal pitch from the Bluejays’ Michal Hylton. After a foul out, sophomore Madison Aurin (1-of-3, 2RBI, HR, R), who last year set the program’s freshman record with 10 long balls, crushed a shot down the left field line for a two-run homer and a 2-0 Spartans lead.

Creighton got the runs right back in the bottom of the inning. With two on they got an RBI single and two batters later a sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2.

In the top of the second, Chelsea Jenner (1-of-3, R, RBI) put the Spartans back in front with a two-out RBI double which scored Cassidy Clark (1-of-3, R) who had led off the inning with a single. Jenner moved to third on Hylton’s second illegal pitch of the game and then scored on a wild pitch. The Spartans led 4-2 and would keep the Bluejays in the rear view mirror the rest of the day.

Creighton’s third and final run came in the bottom of the second. They got it off two hits and a walk to cut the lead in half 4-3.

From there Linford went to work. In the third, fourth and fifth innings she allowed no base runners and struck out five, including striking out the side in the third. Creighton got a lead off single in the sixth, but Linford kept her there inducing a pair of groundouts back to the circle and picking up her ninth strikeout of the game. She gave up a one-out walk in the seventh, but a strikeout and fly out ended the Bluejays come back hopes.

“Linny was a bit shaky in the early going, and I think that is just because it’s her first game situation this year and she is getting the kinks out. But from the third inning on she was very impressive. “

The Spartans pushed two insurance runs across in the fourth. SJSU loaded the bases on a pair of hit batters, Clark and Makayla Englestad, sandwiched around a walk to Emma Entzminger (0-of-2, R, BB). Jenner hit into a fielders choice and Clark was cut down at home. Two batters later, with the bases still loaded and two out, Casey Watt (2-of-4, 2RBI) roped a single to left scoring Englestad and Enztminger and making the score 6-3.

The seventh and final Spartans run came on a leadoff home run from Alexandra Luna (1-of-3, HR, R, RBI) in the top of the fifth.

San Jose State 7, Creighton 3 (Feb 09, 2017 at Tempe, Ariz.)

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San Jose State...... 220 210 0 - 7 6 0     (1-0)

Creighton........... 210 000 0 - 3 5 1     (0-1)

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Pitchers: San Jose State - Linford, Katelyn and Luna, Alexandra; Gallegos, Julia. Creighton -

HYLTON; CLARK(4) and STURGEON.

Win-LINFORD, Katelyn(1-0) Loss-HYLTON(0-1) T-5 p.m. A-250

HR SJ - Aurin, Madison; Luna, Alexandra.

HYLTON faced 2 batters in the 4th.

Game: SJ-CRE

 

Western Michigan 5, San Jose State 1

The Spartans and Broncos each had four hits, but Western Michigan was 3-of-8 with runners in scoring position while San Jose State was 0-of-5 in similar situations and that was the difference in a 5-1 loss in SJSU’s second game of the day.

“We really only hit two balls hard all game,” Head Coach Peter Turner said. “(Western Michigan) beat us in a three phases and they deserved the win.”

The Spartans had the leadoff hitter on in the second, third and fourth innings and moved a runner into scoring position in each of those frames, but only picked up one unearned run. It came in the third inning with Mackenzie Drake on second. Kristin Hefley reached on a throwing error by the WMU third baseman, which allowed Drake to score.

Drake’s run cut the WMU lead in half after they got a two-run homer off Spartans starter Colette Riggs (0-1) in the top of the inning.

Riggs, who took care of the first six batter in the game without incident, got back into a groove setting down the next seven Bronco batters, But after a walk and a throwing error on a sac bunt attempt, WMU had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the seventh. Riggs gave up a sacrifice fly which made the score 3-1 and was lifted for Kacie Gresenz. Gresenz surrendered an RBI double to the first batter she faced before ending the threat on a fly out.

An RBI single in the seventh for Western Michigan made the final score 5-1.

Madison Aurin, Emma Entzminger, Kaelin Amrein and Alyssa Avila had the Spartans four hits, all singles. Riggs went 5.2 innings giving up two hits, four runs, two of which were earned. She struck out five and walked just one. Gresenz, in relief, tossed 1.1 innings, gave up a run on two hits and struck out one.

Western Michigan 5, San Jose State 1 (Feb 09, 2017 at Tempe, Ariz.)

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Western Michigan.... 002 002 1 - 5 5 1     (1-0)

San Jose State...... 001 000 0 - 1 4 0     (0-1)

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Pitchers: Western Michigan - KURTH and SLEEMAN. San Jose State - Riggs, Colette;

GRESENZ, Kacie(6) and Avila, Alyssa.

Win-KURTH(1-0) Loss-RIGGS, Colette(0-1) T-1:40 A-100

HR WMU - SCHAAF.

Weather: 82 degrees

Game: WMU-SJ

The Spartans play two more games on Friday in the Kajikawa Classic. The day starts with #9/9 Oregon at 9:00 a.m. (MT) and finishes at 11:45 a.m. (MT) against Utah.