Softball Opens WAC Season This Weekend

This Week:
Fri., March 25    New Mexico State    Las Cruces, N.M.    6:00 p.m. MDT
Sat., March 26    New Mexico State (DH)    Las Cruces, N.M.    2:00 p.m. MDT

SOFTBALL OPENS WAC SEASON ON THE ROAD:  San Jose State goes back on the road this weekend to open Western Athletic Conference play with three games at New Mexico State.  The two teams will play a single game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.

ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE:  The Aggies enter the weekend with a 19-10 overall record.  Head coach Kathy Rodolph is in her eighth season at the school.  Hoku Nohara leads the WAC with a .462 batting average and leads the nation in slugging percentage at 1.231.  Half of her 36 hits are home runs (18), and she has driven in 50 runs.  Nohara has also drawn 27 walks and scored 24 runs.  Pitcher Alex Newman leads the staff with a 12-2 record and a 3.58 ERA in 21 appearances.  She has struck out 49 batters faced and pitched two complete games.

LIVE STATS:  All three games this weekend will have live stats.  Fans can either check out the New Mexico State site (www.nmstatesports.com), or links will be on the Spartan web site at www.sjsuspartans.com under "Live".

LIVE VIDEO:  Live video from the three games this weekend will be available for a nominal fee on the New Mexico State web site (www.nmstatesports.com).

SPARTAN HEAD COACH:  Peter Turner is in his fifth year at San Jose State with a 115-143 coaching record. He recorded his 100th career victory last year in a 2-1 win over New Mexico State on May 5.

WAC HONOREE:  Jennifer Ames was named Pitcher of the Week for February 7-13.  She pitched two complete games and recorded a save as the Spartans went 6-0 on the weekend.  Ames pitched two complete games in wins over Cal State Bakersfield, 3-1, and Santa Clara, 2-1.  She also recorded a save in another 3-1 win over the Roadrunners as she pitched two-thirds of an inning.  Ames now has three career saves.  She struck out three on the weekend.  This is the first honor this season and the second of her career for Ames.

2011 WAC TOURNAMENT:  The 2011 WAC Tournament will be played May 11-14, in Fresno, Calif., as Fresno State plays host at Bulldog Diamond.  The top six teams in the conference advance to the double elimination tournament. 


DESIGNATED PLAYER SPOT FITS:  After starting the season at second base, sophomore Cheryl Freitas has settled into the starting designated player position.  She leads the team with four home runs and 21 RBI.  She is hitting .284 on the year with a .382 on base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage.

YOUNG, WE ARE VERY YOUNG:  After losing 10 letterwinners and seven starts from last year's team, common sense says the Spartans would be a young team.  But, the Spartans typically start five freshmen and two or three sophomores every game.  The team consists of 12 freshmen, six sophomores, five juniors and one senior and is the youngest team of head coach Peter Turner's Spartan career.

AMES MOVES UP SAVES LIST:  With her two saves this season, Jennifer Ames is now tied for sixth all-time at San Jose State with three.
CAREER SAVES
    1.    8    Carol Forbes    2002-05
    2.    7    Amanda Pridmore    2009-10        
        7    Courtney Lewis    2003-06
    4.    5    Sabrina Quintero    1997-01
    5.    4    Roxanne Bejarano    2007-08
    6.    3    Jennifer Ames    2008-C
        3    Anne Walsh    1992
        3    Lisa Wehren    1990-93
    9.    2    Kelly Harrison    2006-07
        2    Candice Akin    1999-03
        2    Corina Lilly    1994-98

STANGE HITS SPARTANS TO WIN:  With the bases loaded, two outs and a 3-2 count in the bottom of the seventh inning, Alex Stange hit a double to left center field wall to drive in two runs to give San Jose State a 4-3 win over Idaho State.  Stange finished the game 2-for-4 from the plate with two RBI.

SPARTAN NOTES - HITTERS:  Sadie Coenen leads the Spartans with a .369 batting average.  She has a .474 on base percentage and a .477 slugging percentage in 26 games played.  Coenen is the team's starting left fielder.  She enters the weekend with a six-game hitting streak and has 24 hits on the year.  She has scored 18 runs and drawn 13 walks.  She is one of three Spartans to hit five doubles this year and has the Spartans only triple of the year.  

Alex Stange, the Spartan starter at first base, is hitting .330 on the year with a .375 on base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage.  She has a team best 29 hits to go with 11 runs scored and 14 RBI.  Stange has seven multiple-hit games including three hits against Cal State Northridge and Cal State Bakersfield.  She begins the weekend with a three-game hitting streak and had a four-game streak at the beginning of March.  Stange had the game-winning double to drive in two runs in a win over Idaho State.  She hit her only home run of the season against Albany and has five doubles on the year.  Stange has drawn seven walks and stole a base against Santa Clara in March.

 Annica Wolfe has started 29 games at third base.  She is hitting .329 on the season with a .393 on base percentage and a .443 slugging percentage.  She has 26 hits, 16 RBI and nine runs scored.  Wolfe had three hits against Appalachian State, San Diego and Santa Clara.  She drove in four runs in a game against Santa Clara in March.  She hit her first collegiate home run against Appalachian State and added one against Pacific.  Wolfe has drawn nine walks and stole a base at Cal State Bakersfield.  

Cheryl Freitas leads the team with four home runs as she is hitting .284 this season.  She has 21 hits, 17 runs scored, and 21 RBI.  She is one of four players with five doubles on the season.  Freitas has a .382 on base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage.  She has drawn 10 walks and stole two bases.  Freitas had three hits against Cal State Bakersfield and Troy and two hits in four hits.  She drove in four runs against Cal State Northridge, three RBI against Santa Clara and New Mexico and two RBI in three other games.

BranDee Garcia is hitting .281 on the season with 25 hits and 12 runs scored.  She has driven in nine runs including two against Santa Clara and Troy.  She hit her only home run of the year against Mississippi.  Garcia had three hits against Santa Clara and two hits in five games.  She had two five-game hitting streaks earlier this season.  She has 11 walks including three in a game against Santa Clara in March.  Garcia is the starter either at second base or short stop.  

Britney Helm leads the team in runs scored with 20, walks with 14 and stolen bases at eight.  The Spartans starting centerfielder, Helm is hitting .268 with 22 hits and seven RBI.  She has started all 27 games played.  She has three doubles and hit two home runs in a loss at Pacific in February.  Helm recorded two hits in five games and begins the weekend with a five-game hitting streak.  She drove in four runs at Pacific and had three walks against Portland State and Albany.

Jessica Garcia has a .218 batting average with 19 hits, 11 RBI and nine runs scored.  She hit her first collegiate home run against Troy and has two doubles on the year.  Garcia has drawn seven walks and hit two sacrifice flies - Arizona State and Santa Clara.  She had two hits against Santa Clara and Pacific in February.  Garcia had three RBI against Troy.  She has started 29 of her 31 games played, starting either at catcher, second base or the outfield.

Amanda Schatz has played in 19 games and start 16, all at catcher.  She is hitting .319 on the year with 15 hits, four runs and eight RBI.  Schatz is one of four Spartans with five doubles this year.  She hit her first collegiate home run in a win at Cal State Bakersfield.  Schatz also has four walks, a .396 on base percentage and a .489 slugging percentage.  She has recorded two hits in four games.

Jacqueline Zepeda has played in 21 games, starting 18 at short stop.  She has a .188 batting average, .250 on base percentage and a .208 slugging percentage.  Zepeda has nine hits, three runs and five RBI.  She recorded two hits at UNLV and against Arizona.  Her only double of the year was versus Arizona.  Zepeda has four walks and two stolen bases

Markesha Collins has seen action in 24 games this year. She is hitting .171 on the season with six hits and five runs scored.  She had two hits against Idaho State including a double.  Collins has also drawn eight walks on the year and stolen three bases.

Breanna Lopez is hitting .154 in 20 games.  She has six hits on the year including two at Cal State Bakersfield.  Lopez has driven in nine runs this year including two in three games.  She scored two runs against Troy.  Her only double of the year came against Idaho State.  

Stephanie Ziemann has played in 29 games and started 19, all in the outfield.  She is hitting .130 with seven hits, five runs scored and five RBI.  She hit a double against Appalachian State and a her first collegiate home run against Cal State Northridge.  Ziemann has also drawn 10 walks this year including two against San Diego and Troy.  Her only stolen base came against Cal State Bakersfield.

Cristina Menjivar has seen action in eight games.  She is hitting .333 with four hits and two RBI.  Menjivar had two hits and drove in two runs in a win over Santa Clara in March.  She scored a run in a pinch-hitting role at Cal State Bakersfield.

Dorothy Morentin has seen action in six games, mostly as a pinch hitter or replacement catcher.  She recorded her first collegiate hit against Cal State Bakersfield and drove in two runs in that game.  

Kailey Mertz is hitting .250 in seven games played.  She has two hits on the year including a double against Idaho State  She scored a run at Cal State Bakersfield and drawn four walks this year.  She has seen action at third base and as a pinch hitter.

Nikki Chapman has played in nine games this year  She has a .188 batting average with three hits, one runs scored and one RBI.  She also drew three walks.

Brianna Yray has appeared in 13 games and started once in the outfield (vs. Cal State Bakersfield).  She scored a run against Cal State Northridge and Santa Clara.  Yray also stole a base against Cal State Bakersfield.

Lauren Shanks has seen time in five games this year, mostly as a pinch runner.  She has scored four runs and struck out twice.

PITCHING STAFF NOTES:
Jennifer Ames begins the weekend with a 5-7 record and a 2.85 ERA.  She has pitched in 16 games and 88.1 innings this season and has eight complete games.  Ames has struck out 38 batters on the season.  She also has two saves on the year - Appalachian State and Cal State Bakersfield.  Ames was the WAC Pitcher of the Week for Feb.
Five or More Strikeouts This Season
5    vs. Portland State (Feb. 12) L, 3-5
5    vs. New Mexico (March 16) W, 3-1
5    vs. Idaho State (March 22) W, 4-3

Elyssa Fox begins the weekend with a 3-9 record and a 4.59 ERA in 14 appearances.  She has started 11 games and pitched 14 complete games this season.  Fox tied her career high with nine strikeouts in a complete game win over Albany.  She leads the team with 42 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched.  Fox's only shutout of the season was an 8-0 win over Santa Clara.
Five or More Strikeouts This Season
9    vs. Albany (Mar. 12) W, 3-2
6    vs. Cal State Northridge (Feb. 11) L, 8-9
6    at UNLV (Mar. 6) L, 2-5
5    vs. Kansas (Mar. 5) L, 2-4

Janessa Gutierrez has a 5.75 ERA in 17 appearances with a 3-2 record.  She has started four games and pitched one complete game, a 6-2 win over Cal State Bakersfield.  She struck out four batters against Appalachian State. Gutierrez picked up a win in relief against Idaho State this past Tuesday.

Alex Molina has pitched in eight games and started twice - Cal State Bakersfield and Santa Clara, both wins.  She has a 2-0 record in 20.1 innings pitched.  Molina struck out five batters against Santa Clara in March.  

UP NEXT:  The Spartans return to SJSU Field to open the home portion of the WAC schedule next weekend.  The team faces Boise State April 1 and 2.  The two teams will play a single game on Friday, April 1, at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, April 2 at 12 p.m.