Tempe, Ariz. – The San Jose State softball team suffered a pair of run-rule defeats on the opening day of the 2016 Kajikawa Classic losing by identical 8-0 scores to BYU and #20 Arizona State in six and five innings, respectively.
BYU 8, SJSU 0 (6)
BYU pitcher McKenna Bull stymied the Spartans potent hitting in the first game of the day.
After issuing a walk to sophomore Emma Entzminger to leadoff the bottom of the first, Bull (1-0) would face 20 more Spartans over six innings. She allowed two more walks and struck out five without allowing a hit.
“Bull did a good job on us,” head coach Peter Turner said, “but we helped her out. That game was about as poor a pitching, hitting and fielding performance by my team as I have ever seen. I was very disappointed with our effort and focus.”
The Cougars offense pounded out 10 hits and scored eight runs. Junior Katelyn Linford (0-1) started for SJSU (0-1), went three and a third innings, and gave up four runs on five hits.
Freshman Ashley Penney made her college debut in relief of Linford in the fourth. She pitched two and two thirds of an inning surrendering four hits and four runs.
Libby Suggs was BYU’s (1-0) leading run producer. She finished with two hits and three RBIs.
ASU 8, SJSU 0 (5)
In the second game of the day the Spartans’ bats woke up, but they couldn’t take advantage of early opportunities, before giving up a combined eight runs in the fourth and fifth inning.
With one out in the top of the first Casey Lester, Jessie Hufstetler and Jessica Madrid hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases. Erin Rodriguez hit a shallow fly ball into center, which Jenn Soria caught and fired to the plate in time to cut down Lester who was coming home.
Anissa Pinedo led off the second with a single and was lifted for pinch runner Kaelin Amrein. Three batters later, with two outs, Brittany Abacherli singled to move Amrein into scoring position, but for the second straight inning, the Spartans couldn’t come up with the RBI hit.
SJSU (0-2) went 1-2-3 in the third, but in the fourth got a lead off walk from Rodriguez. Casey Watt was inserted as a pinch and moved to second on Pinedo’s second single of the night. San José State was set up again, but a foul out by Taylor Purdy, a strike out from Alexandra Luna and Abacherli hitting into a fielder’s choice ended the Spartans threat.
“We had ample opportunity to put runs on the board against ASU,” Turner said. “But a couple of base running mistakes hurt us. When you get runners in scoring position you have to drive them in, regardless of who you are playing. We didn’t get it done today. That was disappointing.”
Though three innings in the circle, freshman Chantelle Ladner (0-1) held the 20th ranked Sun Devils to three hits, but in the fourth ASU (2-0) broke through with four runs on six hits.
A single followed by back-to-back bunt singles loaded the bases with no outs. Soria then singled in a run. A tomahawk chop in front of the plate by the next Sun Devil batter allowed the runner at third to race home and slide in just under Ladner’s diving tag. ASU got a sacrifice fly and another RBI single before Ladner induced a groundout to end the bleeding.
The Spartans got nothing in the fifth, but in the bottom of the frame Soria hit a two-out, three-run bomb. A fielding error by Hufstetler put a runner on first. The next batter hit a pop-up down the right field line. Watt was charging to make the play, but the ball hit off her glove and into foul territory. The runner at first was moving on contact and by the time the Spartans could gather the ball the winning run was racing home.
“I was extremely pleased with what Chantelle gave us tonight,” Turner said. “She was on a huge stage for her first game and she handled it superbly. We allowed ASU extra at bats due to defensive errors and mistakes. Those runs end up on Chantelle’s line, but make no mistake she was outstanding.”
The Spartans get back at it on Friday with a pair of games. The face the Boston College Eagles and Oregon State Beavers at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively.