Softball Splits Day One Of The Littlewood Tournament

Devin Caldwell's two-RBI triple against Michigan State gave the Spartans their first lead of the game.

Feb. 14, 2014

Michigan State Box Score
Washington Box Score

Tempe, Ariz. - The San José State University softball team extended its season-opening win streak to seven games with a 7-2 victory over Michigan State, but saw it end in a five-inning, 16-1 loss against No. 3/3 Washington in the first day of the Littlewood Tournament, hosted by Arizona State, on Friday.

In the Spartans' (7-1) first game of the day against Michigan State (2-2), timely hitting led to the team's seventh-straight win.

At the top of the fifth, the game was knotted, 2-2. But Devin Caldwell gave San José State its first lead of the game. Her two-out triple scored Taylor Purdy and Casey Watt for the 4-2 advantage.

San José State built upon its lead in the next inning. The third single hit by as many batters to opening the inning by Jessica Garcia drove in Alyssa Martinez. With runners on second and third, Sharon-Renae Estrada's sacrifice fly allowed Chelsea Jenner to score and pinch hitter Erin Rodriguez hit an RBI-single to right field, scoring Kailene Begonia for the 7-2 final.

"Erin Rodriguez stepped up big with that hit," head coach Peter Turner said. "It really put us over the edge."

Allison Lang (5-0) earned the complete game win for San José State, scattering five hits and striking out four, allowing one earned run.

Said Turner of the reigning Mountain West Pitcher of the Week's performance, "She continues to make other teams earn every run they get off of her, and that's why she's so successful right now. She makes everyone hit her best stuff and has the mentality that she can get anyone out. I'm really proud of how much she's stepped up."

Valerie Kaff (1-1) suffered the loss for Michigan State, allowing eight hits and five runs in 3.2 innings.

Against No. 3 Washington (7-0), high-scoring innings early in the game and outstanding pitching by the Huskies led to the Spartans'loss. Washington scored four runs in the first and six runs in both the second and third innings, while holding San José State to just two hits. Kryn Masutani, who went 1-for-2, drove in Erin Rodriguez for the Spartans' lone run, while Marissa Toy got the first hit of her career in the 16-1 loss.

On the day, Jessie Hufstetler was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Purdy went 2-for-5, scoring two runs, while Rodriguez batted .500 (1-for-2) with an RBI and one run scored.

En route to Tempe Thursday night, the Spartans' flight was delayed three hours as a result of inclement weather throughout the country, leading the team to arrive at their hotel around 3:00 a.m. "Based on coming in late and working on four hours of sleep," Turner said, "the team could have found any reason to say why we didn't play well. But they looked like my team.

"They play because they love the game and when you love the game enough, you play not matter how you're feeling."

San José State's final day of the Littlewood Tournament on Sat., Feb. 15, includes a 9:00 a.m. (MT) match-up with Illinois State and a 3:45 p.m. game against tournament host No. 5/5 Arizona State. Said Turner,"Our goal every weekend is to win the weekend. Based on what we've gone through so far, I'll take 7-1, but hopefully tomorrow, we respond better than we did today."