Softball Heads South Looking To Maintain Momentum

THIS WEEK:

San Diego Classic II, San Diego, Calif.

March 14 San Diego State 6:00 p.m.
March 15 Massachusetts 2:00 p.m.
March 15 Harvard 7:00 p.m.
March 16 Marist 2:00 p.m.
March 16 Fairfield 7:00 p.m.
March 17 Long Beach State 11:30 a.m.

(All times in PDT)

SAN JOSE STATE:  The San Jose State University softball team (14-9) travels south on Thursday, March 14, for the San Diego Classic II. The team opens the tournament against hosts San Diego State on Thursday, plays Massachusetts and Harvard on Friday, Marist and Fairfield on Saturday and Long Beach State on Sunday.

San Jose State enters the tournament having won 10 of its last 12 games after a second-place finish at the Libby Matson Tournament (3/1-3/3) in Stockton, Calif.

LIVE STATS: Live stats for most of the games this week will be available on SJSUSpartans.com.

SAN DIEGO STATE: San Diego Classic II hosts, the Aztecs (12-12) play two games this week leading up to the tournament, against Iona and Miami (OH), making up its busiest week of the young season. Lorena Bauer leads the team at the plate, going 29-for-75 (.387) with 21 RBI, 61 total bases, six homers and a .813 slugging percentage. Danielle O'Toole (5-5) and Rebecca Arbino (7-7) share San Diego State's duties at the plate with a Mountain West-leading 2.06 ERA, with Arbino retiring a team-best 93 batters. In her 17th season is head coach Kathy Van Wyk.

MASSACHUSETTS: The Minutemen (2-11) won two-straight games at the NFCA Leadoff Classic (2/22-2/24) in its second week of the season but has yet to rebound, losing six-straight since then. Cyndil Matthew has stolen the team's most bases (8) and has UMass's best batting average (.300, 12-for-40). Caroline Raymond (1-5) has seen the most action in the circle, allowing 51 hits with 19 strikeouts in 42.2 innings pitched. Head coach Elaine Sortino is in her 33rd season.

HARVARD: The Crimson (3-6) will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season at the San Diego Classic II behind Andrea Del Conte. Del Conte has a team-best .400 batting average (10-for-25) with a .423 on base percentage. Freshman Jamie Halula (1-1) has pitched a team-high 22 innings, striking out 21 and allowing 25 hits. Jenny Allard is in her 19th season at the helm of the Crimson program.

MARIST: Coming off of a 4-0 showing at the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational last weekend (3/8-3/10) are the Red Foxes (6-2). Danielle Koltz has the team's most runs (10) and RBI (13), seven of which were driven in at the invitational, and is one of three Red Foxes with two homers. Reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference female student-athlete of the week Emily Osterhaus (4-3) is Marist's leader in the circle, striking out 11 batters and allowing 18 hits in as many innings. Joe Ausanio is in his fifth season as the Red Foxes' head coach.

FAIRFIELD: The Stags (5-4) face a grueling weekend in Southern California, playing eight games in five days. With a .615 batting average (16-for-26), 15 RBI, 36 total bases, five homers and five doubles, Lauren Liseth leads Fairfield at the plate. Rebecca Trott (4-0) has retired 26 batters and allowed 30 hits in a team-high 29.1 innings. In her 16th season as the Stags' head coach is Julie Brzezinski.

LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers (14-9) will look to hold its opponent to two or fewer runs, as the Spartans' final opponent in the San Diego Classic II is 8-0 when doing so. Four players have 13 or more RBI, including Hannah De Gaetano. The team's leader in total bases (43), De Gaetano had two homers in Long Beach State's final day of the LBSU Invitational on Sunday, March 11. Head coach Kim Sowder is in her seventh year.

PRIDMORE NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Right-handed pitcher Amanda Pridmore was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 18-24. This is Pridmore's first weekly honor of the season and second of her career.

Pridmore, a senior from Modesto, Calif., went 2-0 with a save in four appearances last week. In 15.1 innings, she posted a 0.91 ERA, 25 strikeouts and held opponents to a .143 batting average. Pridmore opened the week with a save against Fresno State. She then struck out 10 in 5.0 innings of work against Saint Mary's, which she followed with a career-high 13 strikeouts in a complete-game win over St. John's.

PRIDMORE NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Right-handed pitcher Amanda Pridmore was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 18-24. This is Pridmore's first weekly honor of the season and second of her career.

Pridmore, a senior from Modesto, Calif., went 2-0 with a save in four appearances last week. In 15.1 innings, she posted a 0.91 ERA, 25 strikeouts and held opponents to a .143 batting average. Pridmore opened the week with a save against Fresno State. She then struck out 10 in 5.0 innings of work against Saint Mary's, which she followed with a career-high 13 strikeouts in a complete-game win over St. John's.

SPARTANS SWEEP WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Markesha Collins was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Hitter of the Week and Allison Lang is the conference's Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 4-10 after their performances at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., hosted by Arizona State. This is the first honor for both.

Collins, a senior outfielder from Citrus Heights, Calif., led the Spartans to a 4-2 record at the Kajikawa Classic. She was 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored over the six games. Collins also posted three multi-hit games, stole two bases, and walked four times.

Lang, a sophomore from Fountain Valley, Calif., threw a two-hit shutout in her only appearance of the week. In her first-career complete game, she allowed just two hits with one walk in 6.0 innings of work. Lang also struck out three with a no-hitter through the first five and 2/3 innings, facing just three batters over the minimum.

SPARTANS SEE LITTLE TURNOVER: Alongside All-WAC Preseason Team selections Cox and Pridmore, San Jose State's lineup is bolstered by the return of 11 letterwinners, including  nine starters and four pitchers. Senior Markesha Collins had a team-high 40 runs scored and the Spartans' third-best batting average, a .275 (42-for-153). Junior Jessica Garcia drove in the most runs on the team (38), and her nine doubles were the second-most on the team.

NEWCOMERS: Eleven newcomers are on the Spartans' roster, including two redshirts and a junior transfer. Sacramento State transfer Devin Caldwell highlights San Jose State's newcomer list, as she joins the Spartans following her 2012 Pacific Coast Softball Conference's (PCSC) all-Coastal Division Team honorable mention selection at second base.

PRIDMORE'S PLACE IN HISTORY: Starting pitcher Amanda Pridmore is listed in 10 San Jose State career lists and has the San Jose State saves record (12). She has the program's second-most strikeouts (554) and appearances (134). Pridmore is third in wins (52), innings pitched (669.0) and games started (93), and fifth in complete games (62).

SPARTAN NOTES:

Devin Caldwell has 17 starts on second base in 23 games for San Jose State. She is 16-for-49 (.327 batting average) on the season with 12 runs and five RBI. She had a five-game hit streak (Feb. 22-24) and back-to-back doubles at Pacific and Southern Utah (3/2). Caldwell had a season-high three hits against Pacific (3/2) with a run and RBI, and has three multi-run and multi-hit games.

Markesha Collins has started 21 games for the Spartans as either an outfielder or designated hitter. She leads the team in hits (27), batting average (.443), home runs (5), RBI (21), slugging percentage (.738), on base percentage (.541) and total bases (45). Her longest hit streak of the season lasted seven games  (Feb. 14-22). She drove in a career-high six RBI against Idaho State (2/23), and was perfect at the plate in two games (4-for-4 against Fresno State, 2/22; 3-for-3 against Nevada, 3/1). Collins blasted back-to-back home runs (against Idaho State,2/17, and FresnoState,2/22), has seven multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games, the second-most in the WAC. She has also stolen four bases (against Oregon, 2/9). Collins was named the WAC Hitter of the Week for Feb. 4-10 after going 9-for-16 (.563) with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs scored over the six games.

Michelle Cox has 22 of 23 games for the Spartans in either the outfield or at first base. Her seven stolen bases and 15 runs scored are a team-high. Cox had a five-game hit streak (2/8-14), and has five multi-hit and four multi-run games. Her lone triple of the year was against CSU Northridge (2/22), and her best game of 2013 was against Idaho State (2/23) when she went 3-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a double.

Sharon-Renae Estrada has five games at second base, designated hitter, first base and has pinch hit. She has two hits on six at bats. Her first career hit was a single to center field against Saint Mary's (2/23). She was hit by a pitch against Hawai'i (2/15).

Madison Fish has a 1-2 record in five starts and seven appearances as a right-handed pitcher. She has five strikeouts in 16.1 total innings. Her best showing of the season came against Fresno State (2/22), when, in 5.2 innings of work, she retired two batters and allowed three hits in the 5-2 win. 

Cheryl Freitas has started 18 games as either an infielder or designated hitter, and pinch hit in two games. She has a .492 on base percentage, a .593 slugging percentage and is 22-for-54 (.407). She is in the midst of a five-game hit streak (3/1-3/3). At the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, she went 5-for-10 with three runs, four RBI and back-to-back doubles (against CSU Northridge, 2/22, and Saint Mary's, 2/23). She had a five-game hit streak (2/22-24), a two three-game RBI streaks (2/7-9; 3/1-3/2) and two three-game run streaks (2/22-23, 3/1-3/2). Freitas was the Spartans' leader at the plate at the Libby Matson Tournament, going 7-for-15 with six RBI and five runs. She led all hitters at the tournament in runs scored and total bases (12).

BranDee Garcia has started 17 and played in 19 games as San Jose State's shortstop. She had runs in seven-consecutive games (2/17-3/1). Garcia had a season-best two RBI with a double in two at bats against New Mexico (2/8), and went 2-for-4 with three runs, a one-run homer and a stolen base against Nevada (3/1).

Jessica Garcia has started 22 games as the Spartans' catcher. She had her first home run of the season, which brought in two runners, in the first game against St. John's (2/24). Against Nevada (3/1), her lone at bat was a double that brought in three runners. She had back-to-back doubles (against Nevada and Southern Utah, 3/1) and has two multi-hit games.

Vanessa House is the only Spartan to have started every game this season for San Jose State. She leads the Spartans with six doubles. Her 26 hits, 14 runs and 34 total bases are second on the team. She has the second-most multiple-hit games in the WAC (8). House's best game of the 2013 was against Idaho State (2/23) when she went 3-for-3 with four RBI, two doubles and a triple. House went 2-for-3 five times and was perfect at the plate three times. She had back-to-back doubles against Oregon State and Cal Poly (2/10), and stole two bases in the second St. John's game (2/24).

Jessie Hufstetler has played 18 of 19 games at first base or designated hitter for the Spartans. She is 18-for-51, with nine runs, 13 RBI, five doubles and two homers. Against CSU Northridge (2/22), she went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a double. In the Idaho State (2/17) game, she went 2-for-2 with two runs and RBI, and one home run. She was perfect at the plate against Nevada (3/1), with a double and two runs.

Allison Lang is 3-1 with five starts and 29 innings in the circle. She was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 4-10 after, in her first-career complete game against New Mexico (2/8), she posted a 0.00 ERA, allowing just two hits with one walk in 6.0 innings of work. She had her second shutout of the season in a complete game against CSU Northridge (2/22), when she allowed three hits with two walks in seven innings. Against California (2/16), she had a season-best five strikeouts.

Alyssa Martinez has played in six games with three starts as a pinch runner or shortstop for the Spartans. Her best game of the season was against California (2/16), where she went 1-for-2 and walked. She had a season-high three at bats against Cal Poly (2/10).

Dorothy Morentin has two starts as the Spartans' catcher and an additional five appearances as a catcher or pinch runner. She had a season-high six put outs against California (2/16).

Briana Pontecorvo has six starts in nine games for San Jose State as a pinch hitter, first baseman or designated hitter. Against CSU Northridge (2/8), she drove in two runs with one double. Versus New Mexico (2/8), she walked twice and her one at bat yielded an RBI. She had a season-high three at bats twice: against Oregon State (2/10) and California (2/16).

Amanda Pridmore has an 8-6 record in nine starts and has a WAC-best 99 strikeouts, striking out her 500th batter against Idaho State (2/18). Pridmore had a one-hitter against Southern Utah (3/2), with 5.2 perfect innings. She was the WAC Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 18-24 after going 2-0 with a save in four appearances, her first of the season against Fresno State (2/22). In 15.1 innings, she posted a 0.91 ERA, 25 strikeouts and held opponents to a .143 batting average. Pridmore struck out 10 in 5.0 innings of work against Saint Mary's (2/23) which she followed with a career-high 13 strikeouts in a complete-game win in the first game versus St. John's (2/24), matched against Southern Utah (3/1). She has double-digit strikeouts in four games and has allowed less than four hits in seven complete games.

Taylor Purdy has started 10 games at third base or shortstop for the Spartans. Against CSU Northridge (2/8), she was 2-for-3 with one run and was walked. Versus Portland State (2/7), her one at bat yielded two runs, she walked and stole a base.

Jordan Sauceda has started two games in the circle for San Jose State - against Cal Poly (2/10) and Idaho State (2/23), and appeared in the Oregon (2/9), Hawai'i (2/15) and Nevada (3/1) games. She earned her first-career win against Idaho State, when she allowed a season-low five hits and one run. In 15.0 innings of work, she has five strikeouts, and has allowed 24 hits and 16 runs while walking eight.

Nicole Schultz has 12 starts in 19 games for the Spartans in either the outfield or as a pinch runner. She has gone 9-for-34 with four runs, two doubles, a home run, and four RBI. Her best game of the season was against UCLA (2/16), where she went 2-for-3 with a home run that yielded an RBI.

Marissa Toy has been the Spartans' pinch runner in nine games, scoring three runs. She had runs in three consecutive games (2/16-23), and one at bat against Hawai'i (2/15), when she played second base.

Casey Watt has seven at bats in 12 games for the Spartans as a pinch runner and hitter, outfielder, first baseman or designated hitter. Her first-career hit was a double to center field against Saint Mary's (2/23), which drove in a run. She was hit by a pitch against Hawai'i (2/15).

Annica Wolfe has started 15 games this season for San Jose State at third base. She is 5-for-25 with one RBI and five walks. Against New Mexico (2/8), she went 2-for-4 and drove in one RBI. She had a three-game hit streak (2/15-2/16), and walked in six-consecutive games (2/16-2/23).

2013 WAC TOURNAMENT: The 2013 WAC Tournament takes place in Ruston, La., May 8-11. Hosted by Louisiana Tech, the conference's top six teams advance to the double elimination tournament.

UP NEXT: San Jose State opens WAC play at home on Friday, March 22, with a three-game weekend series against Utah State. The Spartans host the Aggies on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and a double header on Saturday, March 23, at 12:00 p.m.