San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State softball team posted a 4-2 record at last week's Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and return to the Grand Canyon State this week to compete in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson.
The Hillenbrand Invitational, hosted by the No. 14 Arizona Wildcats, will be contested in Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. The Spartans play five games; doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday, February 13 and 14, and finishing with a single game on Sunday.
The University of Arizona, for all games in the Hillenbrand Invitational, will provide streaming video and live stats at no cost. Links to video and stats for each San José State games is available on the Spartans' softball schedule page.
San José State is scheduled to open play against Drake University (3-2) at noon (PT) on Thursday. The Bulldogs began their season last weekend at the Ramada UNI-Dome Classic. They had wins over Iowa (8-0), Southern Utah (8-0) and host Northern Iowa (7-1). The two losses came against North Dakota State (2-1 & 7-1). Rebekah Schmidt, in the circle and at the plate, leads Drake. She brings a 0.35 ERA in 20 innings and a 2-1 record in three starts as well as hitting .429 with a home run and five RBI into the weekend. Drake holds a 2-1 lead in the all-time series with the Spartans.
SJSU's second game of the day, against the Wright State Raiders, is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (PT). Wright State didn't play last week and will face Arizona prior to their matchup with the Spartans. The team was 19-37 last year with a 10-11 mark in Horizon League play. The Raiders return their top three hitters in Jess Gorman (.349, 7HR, 20 RBI), Kate Pfeffer (.333 avg., .889 slugging) and Libby Pfeffer (.301, 37 H, 20 RBI). Montana Wear comes back as the most experienced Wright State pitcher. She posted a 7-17 record with a 5.46 ERA in 145.0 innings. The Raiders are 2-0 all-time in the series with San José State.
Saturday's opponents are Arizona (3:00 p.m. PT) and Loyola Chicago (8:00 p.m. PT).
Arizona swept Oklahoma State last weekend in a three-game set. Trish Parks is a dual threat. She batted .444 with four hits and five RBI. In the circle, she is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 13.0 innings out of the pen. In six games, SJSU has never beaten the Wildcats.
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers bring a 2-2 record into the weekend after opening the season at the Total Control Sports Invitational. They defeated Butler (6-5) and North Dakota (8-3) before dropping games to Samford (5-4) and Miami-Ohio (4-3). This will be the first meeting between these two programs.
The weekend wraps up on Sunday with a 10:00 a.m. (PT) tilt against the Loyola Marymount Lions. LMU (2-1) lost to Sacramento State (4-1) before picking up a pair of wins over Northwestern State (4-1 & 8-5) in last week's So Cal Collegiate Classic. Amanda Dirks (.500, 2 2B, 4 RBI) led the Lions attack, while Rachal Farrington was 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 innings. The Spartans and Lions are tied 8-8 in the all-time series.
The Spartans sandwiched wins against BYU (9-8), Seattle (14-6, 5 inns), Utah Valley (10-7) and Portland State (8-5) between loses to Ole Miss (6-5) and UC Riverside (6-1) at last week's Kajikawa Classic.
Sharon-Renae Estrada earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors for batting .450 (9-for-20) with five home runs, and knocking in 15. She finished the weekend with three multi-hit games and drove in the game-winning run three times. Seven of her nine hits were for extra bases and she drew five walks.