Spartans Complete Sweep Of Utah State With 6-1 Win

May 7, 2017

Final Stats

San Jose, Calif. – Katelyn Linford tossed a five hitter and Madison Aurin and Casey Watt drove in five runs in San José State softball’s 6-1 victory over Utah State on Sunday. The win completes a three-game sweep of the Aggies, who came to town in first place, and leave eliminated from a chance to earn the conference title.

With one week and three games left in the regular season, San Jose State (35-15, 15-6 MW) is in first place in the Mountain West standings. Only two teams are left, San Diego State and Fresno State, both of which are two games back in the loss column, that could unseat the Spartans for the conference crown and automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Championship Tournament.

SJSU’s magic number to clinch against the Aztecs, who finish the season with a series at Nevada, is two. Against the Bulldogs, who travel to Colorado State to complete the year, the magic number is one.

With its final regular season series at UNLV looming, the Spartans 35 wins are the fourth most in a season in program history. The 1989 and 2005 teams won 36 games. In 2015 the team won 37 games and in 2013, the last time the Spartans qualified for the NCAA Tournament, SJSU set a program record with 42 victories.

On Sunday, San José State was clicking on all cylinders.


 

 

Linford, facing Utah State (32-15, 14-9 MW) for the second time in the series, scattered five hits in earning her second win of the series and 22nd of the season. The victory ties her with San José State Sports Hall of Famer Gale Dean for third place on the program’s single-season wins list.

Neither team could get its offense going in the first couple of innings, but in the third the Spartans put up a crooked number.

With one out Mackenzie Drake (1-for-2, R) singled up the middle and Emma Entzminger beat out a perfectly placed bunt. Casey Watt (3-for-4, 2R, 2RBI, 2B) then hammered the first offering from Aggies starter April Brown to dead center. The Utah State centerfielder initially took a couple of steps in, and then realized the ball was over her head. It went all the way to the wall and Drake and Entzminger were off to the races. Both runners came around to score on the RBI double.

Two batters later, with Watt still on second, Madison Aurin swapped spots with her on an RBI double to center of her own. It was 3-0 SJSU after three.

Linford set down the first eight batters she faced, and nine of the 10 through three innings, but in the fourth the Aggies got a run. Jazmin Clarke singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After getting to third on a fly ball to right field, she scored on an RBI double, cutting the Spartans advantage to 3-1.

San José State got the run right back in the bottom of the frame. Chelsea Jenner (1-for-3, R, 2B) doubled to open the inning and got the third on a sacrifice bunt from Kristin Heffley. Alyssa Avila (1-for-3, RBI) followed Heffley with a single up the middle, scoring Jenner and restoring the Spartans three-run lead.

In the sixth, the Spartans put the game out of reach with two more runs. With two outs, Entzminger (2-for-4, 2R) and Watt picked up back-to-back singles and Cassidy Clark walked to load the bases. Aurin (2-for-4, 3RBI, 2B) singled up the middle scoring Entzminger and Watt to make it 6-1.

From there, Linford set the Aggies down in order to complete the series sweep. The win runs the team’s current winning streak to eight games, equaling the longest of the season.

The Spartans racked up 30 hits in the series including 11 in Sunday's game, the second time in the series they reached double-digit hits.  Utah State entered the weekend with the best staff ERA in the conference at 2.78, but SJSU scored 15 runs in three contests.

SJSU complete the regular season at UNLV with a three-game series beginning Thursday night at 6:00 p.m.

San Jose State 6, Utah State 1 (May 07, 2017 at Santa Clara, Calif.)
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Utah State.......... 000 100 0 - 1 5 0     (32-15, 14-9 MW)
San Jose State...... 003 102 X - 6 11 0     (35-15, 15-6 MW)
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Pitchers: Utah State - BROWN, April; WHITE, Kelli(3); SCHROEDER, K(6) and BUTTACAVOLI,.
San Jose State - Linford, Katelyn and Avila, Alyssa.
Win-LINFORD, Katelyn(22-7) Loss-BROWN, April(13-6) T-1:53 A-285
Game: US-SJ3