San Jose-Alex Stange hit a two-run double to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Spartan softball team a 4-3 win over Idaho State in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at SJSU Field. San Jose State lost the second game 7-4.
With the bases loaded, Stange hit a double to the left field wall that allowed Sadie Coenen and Britney Helm. Stange finished the game with two hits and ended the day with four RBI total after driving in two of the Spartans' four runs in game two.
"I didn't have the greatest day out here, but I got the job done in the first game when needed," said Stange. "When they walked Cheryl ahead of me, I was ready to step up at that point. With a full count, you know that the pitcher does not want to walk you especially with runners on base. I knew the pitch was going to be somewhere in the zone. My thought process was to swing down on it and put it in the gap."
"I wish everyone had the work ethic of Alex," said Spartan head coach Peter Turner. "This year, she has hit well and her yeoman effort has paid dividends for us this year and hopefully for her senior year."
The Spartans had to battle from behind the entire first game. After giving up two runs in the top of the first, Helm scored on a Cheryl Freitas single up the middle in the bottom of the inning to cut the Bengal lead the 2-1.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the fourth when Lauren Shanks, pinch running for Annica Wolfe, scored on an Idaho State fielding error to tie the game at 2-2.
Idaho State took the lead in the top of the seventh inning, but the Spartans responded with the two runs in the bottom of the inning to win. Freshman Janessa Gutierrez got the win in relief of Spartan starter Jennifer Ames. Ames struck out five but walked four in six innings of action. Gutierrez is now 2-2 on the season.
Game two found the Spartans leaving 11 runners on base and not taking advantage of situations. The team took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning as Jacqueline Zepeda started the inning with a single and scored on a Breanna Lopez bases-loaded walk. With the bases loaded, Alex Stange hit what looked to be a sacrifice fly to left field. But Helm, the runner at third base, was called out for leaving the base early.
After giving up three runs in the top of the fourth and two in the fifth, the Spartans responded in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases and forcing a Bengal pitching change. Stange then singled up the middle to score Lopez and Coenen. San Jose State then loaded the bases again before Zepeda fouled off of first base. The Spartans also left two runners on base in the sixth inning and one in the seventh.
San Jose State used three pitchers in the loss. Starter Elyssa Fox pitched the first four innings of the game as her record fell to 3-9. She gave up eight hits, five runs, four earned and five walks while striking out four. Alex Molina then pitched the next two innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs. Gutierrez pitched the final inning and allowed just one hit.
"I am extremely disappointed in how we approached today's games," said Turner. "Our effort was not a Spartan effort. I expect my team to play with heart, passion and desire. We were very lackluster on the field and I take full responsibility.
"We are not getting quality pitching performances. Everyone has to be accountable whether it is my pitching staff for getting "0"s on the board and my defense not booting the ball around. That is why we are struggling. We all have jobs to do."
San Jose State opens Western Athletic Conference play this weekend at New Mexico State. The two teams play a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. MDT, and a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. MDT.
San Jose State 4 Idaho State 3
Idaho State 200 000 1 -- 3 6 4
San Jose State 100 100 2 -- 4 8 1
2 out, 2 LOB when game ended.
Clesson and Blackwell. Ames, Gutierrez and Schatz. WP - Gutierrez (2-2). LP - Clesson (5-12). 2B - Rayner, Hancock (IS); Stange (SJS). 2 hits - Fitzsimmons, Rayner (IS); Helm, Stange (SJS). 3 RBI - Rayner (IS). 2 RBI - Stange (SJS). Records - Idaho State 5-18; San Jose State 13-17.
Idaho State 7 San Jose State 4
Idaho State 000 320 2 -- 7 12 3
San Jose State 001 030 0 -- 4 10 1
Rayner, Clesson (5) and Blackwell. Fox, Molina (5), Gutierrez (7) and J. Garcia. WP - Rayner (IS). LP - Fox (3-9). Save - Clesson. HR - Fitzsimmons (IS). 3B - Olsin (IS). 2B - Blackwell 2 (IS); B. Lopez Mertz, Collins (SJS). 3 hits - Olsin, Blackwell (IS). 2 hits - Fitzsimmons (IS); B. Garcia, Collins (SJS). 4 RBI - Fitzsimmons (IS). 2 RBI - Olander (IS); B. Lopez, Stange (SJS). Records - Idaho State 6-18; San Jose State 13-18.
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