Feb. 6, 2014
Tempe, Ariz. – Sharon-Renae Estrada’s fourth-inning grand slam and the team’s 15 hits led the San Jose State University softball team to an 11-2 victory over Creighton at the Kajikawa Classic on February 6.
Three consecutive hits to open the third inning, including an RBI-single by Jessica Garcia, hinted at what was to come. After an error by Creighton’s (0-1) second baseman loaded the bases, Sharon-Renae Estrada sent a blast out of center field for her first-career home run. The grand slam, which put San Jose State (1-0) up, 5-0, was San Jose State’s first since Markesha Collins’ grand slam in a 9-1 win over UC Riverside on Feb. 6, 2012.
“Estrada earned the right to play through what she did in spring training,” Head Coach Peter Turner said. “She played third base well and at the end of the day, she did exactly what we needed her to do, which was to drive in runs.”
Jessie Meyer added RBI-singles in the fourth and sixth innings to give the Spartans a 7-1 lead.
San Jose State continued to build upon its lead in the seventh. Alyssa Martinez, who went 3-for-5 in the game, knocked a two-RBI single to left center, scoring Nicole Schultz and Devin Caldwell. Garcia drove in two more runners with a left field double for the final 11-2 score.
Turner said of Martinez, “She had been hitting so well in spring training we felt she would have an influence on our offense. She got a lot of good pitches because of where she was in the lineup, squared up on the ball and moved it well.”
Liz Dike’s one-run homers in the fourth and sixth innings were the Bluejays’ lone scores.
The Spartans recorded 15 hits in the game, with seven players getting at least one hit. Turner relayed his reason for making a number of lineup changes throughout the game: “We have a team that I can put in numerous lineups and they’ll still be talented. We go 14 or 15 deep, and I don’t think we’ve ever been that deep before. But because of that, I have to make sure that we allocate playing time accordingly.”
Said Turner of his pitching staff, “We have six talented pitchers and when I see a disconnect, we’ll swap out pitchers. However, I was proud of how Linford performed. She did a great job.”
The Spartans continue their play at the Kajikawa Classic with a doubleheader tomorrow, February 7, at 12:00 p.m. (MT) against CSU Northridge and Seattle U.
“Where we are right now,” Turner said, “I would much rather face other teams than our team and that’s a great place to be.”