Softball Looks To Lengthen Eight-Game Win Streak

THIS WEEK:

Sacramento State, UTSA

San Jose, Calif.          
March 26        Sacramento State      1:00 p.m.

Sacramento, Calif.
March 27        Sacramento State      2:30 p.m.

San Antonio, Texas
March 29        UTSA*                       6:00 p.m.
March 30        UTSA* (DH)               4:00 p.m.

(All times in PST)

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS:  The San Jose State University softball team (22-10) takes on Sacramento State for a home-and-home on March 26 and 27. The Spartans then head to UTSA for its first road Western Athletic Conference (WAC) series on March 29 and 30.

The Spartans, who head in to the week with an eight-game win streak, made history in its WAC-opening weekend with its first 3-0 start to league play in school history. Against Utah State (5-25), San Jose State held the Aggies to just two runs over the three-game series.

LIVE STATS: Live stats for this week’s games will be available on SJSUSpartans.com.

SACRAMENTO STATE HORNETS: The Hornets (16-9) have won four of its last five after a three-game skid halted its season-long seven-game winning streak. With a .403 batting average (31-for-77), 10 RBI and 38 total bases, Paige Martin is Sacramento State’s top hitter. Caitlin Brooks (9-3) has been stellar in the circle for the Hornets, posting a team-leading 1.20 ERA and 75 strikeouts with three shutouts in 87.2 innings pitched. Kathy Straham is in her 21st season as Sacramento State’s head coach.

UTSA ROADRUNNERS: The Roadrunners (18-12) had its first sweep of Texas State since 2004 and first in San Marcos since 1996, in its opening WAC weekend. Megan Low has WAC-best slugging (.707) and on base (.579) percentages, alongside her team-leading 23 RBI and eight doubles. Reiging WAC Hitter of the Week Vivian Tijerina went 5-for-8 (.625 batting average) with a double and three RBI in the Roadrunners’ series against Texas State. Haylee Staton (9-4) has spent the most time in the circle for UTSA, striking out 66 and allowing 89 hits with two shutouts in 98.2 innings pitched. In her second season as the Roadrunners’ head coach is Amanda Lehotak.

SUCCESSFUL SPARTANS: San Jose State continued its success, sweeping its series against Utah State, and is now in the midst of an eight-game win streak. The top team in the WAC, the Spartans have won 18 of its last 21 games. San Jose State leads the WAC in wins (22), fielding percentage (.969), runs scored (152), on base percentage (.388), hits (240), RBI (131), triples (7), walks (120), at bats (829) and batters struck out (185).

Nationally, Amanda Pridmore is tied for the 11-most wins (15) and 30-most saves (2). She has a WAC-best strikeouts (156), opposing batting average (.181) and innings pitched (134.2).

PRIDMORE NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK: Amanda Pridmore was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for March 18-24. Pridmore earned all three wins for San Jose State, as the Spartans opened WAC play 3-0 for the first time in school history. In 22.2 innings of work, she posted a 0.71 ERA with 13 strikeouts and held opponents to a .162 batting average. She opened the week with a complete-game win over Utah State, striking out six. The following day, she posted her second-career combined shutout, striking out five in 5.2 innings of work. She closed out the week with a complete-game victory in the finale to move into second place all-time in victories (59) at San Jose State.

Pridmore was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for March 11-17 after going 4-1 with a save in six appearances at the San Diego Classic II. In 27.2 innings of work, she posted a 0.51 ERA, 44 strikeouts and held opponents to a .120 batting average. Pridmore has pitched 24.2 shutout innings. In her two appearances on March 16, she pitched 12 innings of shutout softball, yielded just two singles, struck out 25 of the 42 batters she faced and was the winning pitcher in both games. In a 4-0 complete game shutout against Marist (3/16), she had a San Jose State single-game record 17 strikeouts, tying her for the 31-most in a single seven-inning game in NCAA Division I history.

Pridmore’s first WAC Pitcher of the Week honor of 2013 was for Feb. 18-24 after she went 2-0 with a save in four appearances. 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 (2/22). She then 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 over St. John's (2/24).

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 (13) and strikeouts looking (156) records. She has the program’s second-most strikeouts (611), wins (59), appearances (143), starts (98) and games finished (43). She has pitched the third-most innings (716.1) and complete games (66), and has the seventh-most shutouts in San Jose State history with 10.

SPARTAN NOTES:

Devin Caldwell has 24 starts on second base in 30 games for San Jose State. She is 21-for-66 (.318 batting average) on the season with 17 runs and five RBI. She had a six-game hit streak (Feb. 17-24) and back-to-back doubles at Pacific and Southern Utah (3/2). She knocked two triples in the first game against Utah State (3/23, when she when 2-for-3 with two runs. She scored runs in three consecutive games (3/15-16) at the San Diego Classic II. Caldwell had a season-high three hits against Pacific (3/2), and has four multi-run and five multi-hit games.

Markesha Collins has started 30 games for the Spartans as either an outfielder or designated hitter. She leads the team in batting average (.402), hits (35), homeruns (5), RBI (24), total bases (56), slugging percentage (.644) and on base percentage (.519). 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 Fresno State, 2/22), has nine multi-hit games, two multi-run games and  multi-RBI games. She has also stolen six bases. 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 started 31 games for the Spartans in either the outfield or at first base. She has a team-leading nine stolen bases. Cox had a five-game hit streak (2/8-14), and has eight multi-hit and six multi-run games. In the first game against Utah State (3/23), Cox’s two hits on three at bats were a double and a triple, yielding four RBI, and 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 six starts and 10 appearances as a right-handed pitcher. She has six strikeouts in 22 total innings. Her best showing of the season came against Fresno State (2/22), when, in 5.2 innings of work, she struck out two batters and allowed three hits in the 5-2 win. 

Cheryl Freitas has started 28 games as either an infielder or designated hitter, and pinch hit in two games. She has a .449 on base percentage, a .545 slugging percentage and is 29-for-77 (.377). She had an eight-game hit streak (3/1-3/16), the longest for any Spartan this season, and two three-game run streaks (2/22-23, 3/1-3/2). Freitas has seven multi-RBI games, six multi-hit games and two multi-run games. In the first Utah State game (3/23), she went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a double. She was the Spartans' leading hitter at the Libby Matson Tournament, going 7-for-15 with six RBI and five runs, and led all hitters at the tournament in runs and total bases (12).

BranDee Garcia has started 25 and played in 28 games as San Jose State’s shortstop. She scored runs in seven-consecutive games (2/17-3/1). Garcia was 1-for-2 with two runs and RBI each against Utah State (game one, 3/23) and had 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). She has three homeruns.

Jessica Garcia has started 31 games as the Spartans’ catcher or third baseman. She led the Spartans at the plate at the San Diego Classic II, posting a .389 batting average (7-for-18) with two doubles, eight RBI and a homerun. She also had a four-game hit streak at the tournament. Garcia 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 once (against Nevada and Southern Utah, 3/1) and has four 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 seven doubles. Her 32 hits, 20 runs, 43 total bases and .464 on base percentage are second on the team. She had a six-game hit streak (3/3-3/16). 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. She 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). House has eight multi-hit games, four multi-RBI games and posted a six-game hit streak (3/3-3/16). She scored a season-best three runs against Fairfield (3/16).

Jessie Hufstetler has played 27 of 28 games at first base or designated hitter for the Spartans. She is 24-for-77 with 11 runs, 17 RBI, five doubles and two homers, alongside a .379 on base percentage and .455 slugging percentage. 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 homerun. She was perfect at the plate against Nevada (3/1), with a double and two runs. Hufstetler had a six-game hit streak (3/3-3/16), five multi-hit games, three multi-run games and five multi-RBI games.

Allison Lang is 3-1 with eight starts and 35.1 innings in the circle. She has struck out 16 batters and has allowed 42 hits and 21 runs. 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 allowed just two hits with one walk in 6.0 shutout innings of work. Lang 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 nine games with eight starts as a pinch hitter and runner or shortstop for the Spartans. Her best game of the season was against Fairfield (3/16), where her lone hit of the game (on two at bats) was a double, and she walked.

Dorothy Morentin has three starts as the Spartans’ catcher and an additional seven appearances as a catcher or pinch hitter. Her lone hit of the season, against Harvard (3/15), drove in an RBI. She had a season-high six put outs against California (2/16).

Briana Pontecorvo has six starts in 10 games for the Spartans 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 a 15-7 record in 16 starts and has a WAC-best 156 strikeouts, striking out her 500th batter against Idaho State (2/18). She has the WAC's lowest opposing batting average (.181) and most innings pitched (134.2), and posted a season-high 31 shutout innings from 3/14-22.

Pridmore was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for March 18-24. Pridmore earned all three wins for San Jose State and, in 22.2 innings of work, posted a 0.71 ERA with 13 strikeouts and held opponents to a .162 batting average. She was named the WAC Pitcher of the Week for March 11-17 when she went 4-1 with a save in six appearances at the San Diego Classic II. In 27.2 innings of work, she posted a 0.51 ERA, 44 strikeouts and held opponents to a .120 batting average. In a 4-0 complete game shutout against Marist (3/16), she had a San Jose State single-game record 17 strikeouts, tying her for the 31-most in a single seven-inning game in NCAA Division I history. She was also the WAC Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 18-24 after going 2-0 with a save in four appearances. In 15.1 innings, she posted a 0.91 ERA, 25 strikeouts and held opponents to a .143 batting average.

 She has double-digit strikeouts in five games and has allowed four or fewer hits in eight complete games. Pridmore had a one-hitter against Southern Utah (3/2), with 5.2 perfect innings.

Taylor Purdy has started 13 games in the infield 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. She had back-to-back hits against Harvard (3/15) and Fairfield (3/16).

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 18.2 innings of work, she has seven strikeouts, and has allowed 27 hits and 16 runs while walking 10.

Nicole Schultz has 18 starts in 26 games for the Spartans in either the outfield or as a pinch runner. She has gone 12-for-53 with seven runs, two doubles, a home run, and six RBI. She had runs in three-consecutive games (3/17-3/22). 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. She had two RBI against Fairfield (3/16) and the walk-off run against Long Beach State (3/17).

Marissa Toy has been the Spartans’ pinch runner in 13 games, scoring four 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 eight at bats in 18 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 stole a base against Massachusetts (3/15) and was hit by a pitch against Hawai’i (2/15).

Annica Wolfe has started 17 games this season for San Jose State at third base. She is 7-for-37 with two RBI and 12 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). Wolfe went 1-for-2 with a run and RBI against Marist (3/16).

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 hosts Santa Clara on Wednesday, April 3, then welcomes Seattle to SJSU Field for a WAC series on April 5 and 6.