April 5, 2014
Logan, Utah – Five innings and home runs by Sharon-Renae Estrada and Jessica Garcia was all the San José State University softball team needed to handle Utah State, beating the Aggies, 12-4, in Mountain West win on Saturday.
The Spartans’ five-inning win marks the first time since 2007 that the team beat opponents in fewer than seven innings in consecutive games. On Friday, San José State bested Utah State, 9-0, in six innings. By winning the series’ first two games, the Spartans have clinched its second conference series win in as many weekends.
Devin Caldwell’s leadoff single opened the game and was a sign of things to come for the Spartans (21-14, 4-1 MW). A pop-up interrupted five-straight batters reaching base, capped off by Casey Watt’s two-RBI single. The sophomore hit the ball to centerfield, which the centerfielder dropped, allowing both Sharon-Renae Estrada and Erin Rodriguez to score for the 5-0 lead.
San José State continued its rally in the second frame. After lead-off hits by Jessie Hufstetler and Jessica Garcia, Estrada crushed the ball over the left field wall for the two-run home run and 8-0 lead.
But in the bottom of the inning, Utah State (14-20, 3-5 MW) cut the Spartans’ lead in half. The Aggies scored four runs off of two hits and a San José State error for the 8-4 score.
However, San José State responded with a two-run third inning for the 10-4 advantage. Hufstetler knocked her second double of the game to left center, scoring Alyssa Martinez and Garcia.
The Spartans continued to get big hits in the fifth inning. Garcia smoked her second homer in as many days, and seventh of the season, just a few feet from where Estrada hit her blast, driving in Caldwell for the final 12-4 score.
Madison Fish (5-1) was stellar in relief for the Spartans. She no-hit 3.2 innings in relief, fanning four batters and facing just one batter over the minimum.
In the series’ second game, Hufstetler and Estrada each batted .750 (3-for-4), drove in three runners and scored two runs. Garcia scored three runs, went 2-for-3 and collected two RBI.
San José State and Utah State close their Mountain West series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.