San Jose, Calif. - The San José State softball team, off to its best start since the 1994 season, makes its Bay Area debut in the Bronco Classic, in Santa Clara, this weekend.
The Bronco Classic will be contested on SCU Softball Field on the campus of Santa Clara University. The Spartans play four games, a doubleheader on Friday, February 20 and then single games on Saturday and Sunday.
Santa Clara University, for all games in the Bronco Classic, will provide live stats at no cost. Links to live stats for each of San José State's games are available on the Spartans' softball schedule page.
HUFSTETLER NAMED MW PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jessie Hufstetler earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors (Feb. 12-15) after hitting .625 with four home runs, 16 RBI and scoring six runs in five games this past weekend at the Hillenbrand Invitational.
In five games in Tucson, Ariz., Hufstetler, a junior out of Atascadero (Calif.) High School, was 10-for-16. In addition to four home runs, she had two doubles and, walk and only struck out only once. Her on-base percentage was .667 and she slugged 1.500.
Hufstetler is the second Spartan in as many weeks to earn the honor. In the opening week of the season Sharon-Renae Estrada won the award after she batted .450 (9-for-20) with five home runs, and knocked in 15 in six games at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. 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.
BRING SOME PITCHING... THE SPARTANS CAN MASH!!
If you are playing San José State right now, better bring some pitching because the Spartans, as a team, are a hitting machine.
They lead the Mountain West in batting (.380), slugging (.584), on-base percentage (.493), runs (94), hits, (115), RBI (84), home runs (15), total bases (177), at-bats (303), walks (63), total plate appearances (378), and fewest strikeouts (33).
San José State is off to an 8-3 start in 2015, one of the best starts in years...21 years to be exact. The last time the Spartans got of to this quick a start was in 1994, when the team opened the season with a 10-3 record. The most consecutive wins to open a season came a year ago, when the 2014 Spartans opened the year 7-0.
BRONCO CLASSIC PREVIEW
San José State is scheduled to open play against Idaho State University (3-7) at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. The Bengals were 2-3 in the Mardi Gras Classic in Lafayette, La., last weekend. They had wins of 6-0 and 16-0 (5) over Mississippi Valley State, but dropped three games (5-1, 3-0 & 6-0) to host Louisiana-Lafayette.
Kacie Burnett leads Idaho State with a .481 average. She has team-highs in hits (13) and runs (11) as well as being a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases. Vicky Galasso has three homers and a team-high 13 RBI and is batting .300. In the circle, Sophie Slagle has a team-low 4.20 ERA. She has a 1-3 record in five starts and six total appearances. The Spartans hold a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series.
The second half of the Spartans' Friday doubleheader and its single game on Saturday is against University of Illinois-Chicago. Friday's tilt is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and Saturday's game will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Taking last weekend off, the Flames opened their season two weeks ago in the Total Control Sports Invitational in Rosemont, Ill., posting a 3-2 record. The team had wins against North Dakota (4-1), Miami (Ohio) (6-0) and Central Michigan (6-5). Their losses came against Syracuse (10-1, 5 inns) and Butler (3-2).
Erica Hampton is the leading hitter for UIC with a .417 average. LaRi Mitchell tops the squad in hits (7), has driven in two, while batting .389 and has stolen six bases without being caught. Karissa Frazier was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week after posting a 2-0 record with a 0.82 ERA and a save in 17.0 innings. She allowed just two earned runs while striking out 14. Illinois-Chicago holds a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series
In a 1:30 p.m. start on Sunday, the Spartans final opponent of the weekend is a familiar one, Seattle University. The team's met two weeks ago in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and San José State won in five innings, 14-6. Overall the Redhawks are 4-6 overall. They played in the Wilson-DeMarini Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., last weekend and had wins over Nevada (8-7) and New Mexico (8-2), but lost to Utah (3-1), Boise State (9-5) and Hawai'i (8-0, 5 inns).
Seattle is getting its best production from Bubba Morrow, who leads the team with 11 hits, 11 runs, four home runs and nine RBI and is hitting .393. Kayla Shuster-Gonzales enters the weekend with a .333 average and has 10 hits, three round trippers and has driven in eight. In the circle, Mandie Sugita has a team-best 4.20 ERA. She is 2-2 on the year and has 12 strikeouts in 21.2 innings, but lasted just 1.1 inning and gave up eight hits, eight earned runs and took the loss against the Spartans two weeks ago. San José State holds a series lead with a 2-0 record.