Spartans Sweep Princeton

March 23, 2017

San Jose, Calif. – The San Jose State softball team (21-10) took a pair of games from the Princeton Tigers (4-10) on Thursday. The first contest was won on the arm of senior pitcher Katelyn Linford and the second on the bats of the Spartans offense.

In the opener, Linford limited the Tigers to just two hits in a 4-1 win and in game two San José State spotted Princeton a two-run lead before storming back for eight unanswered runs en route to a 9-4 victory.


Katelyn Linford walked a pair and struck out five in earning her eighth straight complete game victory and improving her record to 14-3 on the year.

After Linford set the Tigers down in order in the top of the first, Madison Aurin, who was 3-for-7 with two runs and three RBIs in the doubleheader, got the Spartans on the board. Casey Watt (3-for-3, 2R) singled with one out and Aurin followed her with a double to score Watt. On the play Aurin was cut down at third trying to stretch the double into a triple, but SJSU had a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers tied the game in the third. Linford hit leadoff batter Alex Viscusi and a sacrifice bunt moved her into scoring position. Three batters later, after Viscusi stole third and Linford issued a walk, Princeton scored its lone run of the game on a single to center field. Princeton had a runner on third, but Linford struck out the next batter to end the threat and the inning.



In the bottom of the inning, the Spartans put two more runs on the board. Brittany Abacherli and Watt led off with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Watt stole second and moved to third on Aurin’s ground out to the right side, which plated Abacherli to make it 2-1 Spartans. Georgia Blair then grounded out to score Watt and it was 3-1 after three complete.

In the sixth, Cassidy Clark (1-for-3, RBI) doubled in Georgia Blair (2-for-3, R, RBI) who had led off the inning with a single to make the score 4-1.

With the lead in hand, Linford set down 12 of the final 13 Tigers’ hitters she faced allowing just a walk in the seventh. In the game just three balls left the infield from the last out in the third until the end of the game did not let a ball out of the infield.

San Jose State 4, Princeton 1 (Mar 23, 2017 at Santa Clara, Calif.) (Game 1)


Princeton........... 001 000 0 - 1 2 0     (4-9)

San Jose State...... 102 001 X - 4 11 0     (20-10)


Pitchers: Princeton - Klausner and Walsh. San Jose State - Linford, Katelyn and Avila, Alyssa.

Win-LINFORD, Katelyn(14-3) Loss-Klausner(3-3) T-1:30 A-174

Game: PRIN-SJ1



While pitcher Colette Riggs cruised through the first three innings, the Spartans suffered some bad luck on the bases.

With one out in the first, Casey Watt walked and Madison Aurin hit a popup into foul territory down the left field line. Inexplicably Watt was running on the play. By the time she realized the ball had been caught she was between second and third base and got doubled up to end the inning.

In the third, the Spartans had two runners on with one out. Brittany Abacherli ripped a shot down the third base line, which was stabbed by the Tigers third baseman. She touched the bag and then nipped Abacherli at first for another inning-ending double play.

Princeton took the momentum from the field into the batters box in the top of the fourth.   They opened with a triple to center and followed that with an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, a sac bunt put runners at second and third and a sacrifice fly then scored the second run of the inning to make it 2-0 Tigers.

That was all the motivation the Spartans would need. In the bottom of the frame they sent 10 batters to the plate and put a five-spot on the board to take a lead they would never relinquish.

Watt (1-for-3, 2R) led off with a single and scored on Aurin’s RBI double. Georgia Blair (1-for-3, R) then singled to put runners on the corners and Cassidy Clark (1-for-2, 2R, RBI) singled in Aurin to make it 2-2.

Kaelin Amrein followed Clark with a double down the right field line scoring Blair and it was 3-2 Spartans. Two batters later, Alyssa Avila (2-for-3, 2RBI) smoked a double down the left field line driving in Clark and Amrein to push the SJSU lead to 5-2.

In the fifth, Amrein put the game out of reach. With Aurin (2-of-4, 2R, RBI) on second and Clark on first, Amrein (2-for-3, 2R, 4RBI) unloaded a shot that cleared the fence in left field for the first home run of her collegiate career and an 8-2 lead.

In the sixth, Princeton got two runs back off reliever Emily Rogers, who had entered the game in the previous inning. With one out, two runs in and the bases loaded, Rogers was lifted in favor of Linford who got the team out of the jam with a strikeout and infield popup.

Leading 8-4 in the bottom of the sixth, SJSU was looking at two outs and a runner on first. Pinch hitter Katie Valladao doubled into the gap in left center driving in the first run of her collegiate career and last run of the game to make it 9-4.

Linford set the Tigers down in order in the seventh to pick up her fourth save of the season. Riggs (4-2) earned the win. She pitched 4.0 innings, allowed two runs on two hits and struck out one.

San Jose State 9, Princeton 4 (Mar 23, 2017 at Santa Clara. Calif.) (Game 2)


Princeton........... 000 202 0 - 4 5 0     (4-10)

San Jose State...... 000 531 X - 9 11 0     (21-10)


Pitchers: Princeton - LaGuardia; Nori(5) and Walsh; Colon. San Jose State - Riggs, Colette;

ROGERS, Emily(5); LINFORD, Katelyn(6) and Avila, Alyssa; Luna, Alexandra.

Win-RIGGS, Colette(4-2) Save-LINFORD, Katelyn(4) Loss-LaGuardia(0-5) T-1:59 A-174

HR SJ - Amrein, Kaelin (1).

Game: PRIN-SJ2