San Jose, Calif. - San José State softball had its Mountain West Conference opener at Colorado State postponed last week due to a blizzard which made it impossible for the team to travel, so the Spartans will get league play underway with a doubleheader on Tuesday and a single game on Wednesday against UNLV.
San Jose State Spartans (11-17, 0-0 MW)
vs. UNLV Rebels (18-14, 2-1 MW)
March 29 - 12:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m.; March 30 - 12:00 p.m. (PT)
SJSU Field (500) - San Jose, Calif.
HUFSTETLER’S RECORD BOOK ASSAULT
Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) has staked her claim to being one of the best hitters in San José State history, ranking in the top-10 of 11 career offensive categories.
With a good season, she could add career leader in RBI, total bases, hits, and runs to her already impressive resume.
JENNER RESPONDS IN STARTING ROLE
Earning starting assignments in the Spartans last two games, Chelsea Jenner (Jr., OF, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada) paid instant dividends by going 4-for-6 with four RBI and three runs.
In the Spartans 7-6 win over Illinois, Jenner smacked the first home run of her career, a two-run blast to left field, which gave the Spartans an early 2-0 lead. Her RBI single in the fifth increased the SJSU lead to 5-0. The three RBI are a single-game high as were her four putouts.
In a four run fourth inning against Seattle, a 12-6 victory, Jenner drove in a run and later scored the game-tying run. In the sixth, she doubled and scored to put the game out of reach.
MAYBE THIS THING IS TURNING AROUND
In the first five weeks of the season, the Spartans failed to post a winning record in any tournament they played in and only twice won as many as two games in a seven day stretch.
But with last week’s 5-2 record San Jose State may be getting things going just in time for Mountain West play.
The team opened the week with a pair of run-rule wins over Colgate, then in the San Diego Classic II, had victories over Illinois, UC Santa Barbara and Seattle.
Overall the team has won six of its last eight games and in those wins, it’s averaging 9.5 runs per game.
CONFERENCE OPENER SNOWED OUT; RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 3 & 4
In a first for San José State softball, the team’s 2016 Mountain West opener was snowed out. SJSU was scheduled to play a three-game set at Colorado State, March 24-26.
With the possibility of snow over the weekend, the series was changed from three games over three days to a doubleheader on Thursday (3/24) and a single on Friday (3/25).
On Tuesday night (3/22) and into Wednesday (3/23), more than two feet of snow fell in Fort Collins. The storm also forced the closure of Denver International Airport. With no way to get to Colorado, the series was postponed.
On Monday, March 28, the Mountain West announced the games will be made up with a doubleheader in Fort Collins on Sunday April 3 (12:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.) and a single game on April 4 (10:00 a.m.). All times are local to the site.
PACIFIC GAME CANCELLED
With the Spartans now traveling to Fort Collins, Colo., on April 2 to make up its series against Colorado State, the squads game at UOP on April 1 have been cancelled. No make up date will be set.
SCOUTING THE REBELS
UNLV comes to San Jose with an 18-14 overall record and 2-1 MW mark. The team opened conference action against San Diego State.
Its .314 team batting average and 3.30 staff ERA rank each rank third among the nine teams in the league. Alyssa Cordova leads the team (T8th in the MW) with a .378 batting average. Jamie DePippo is the top run producer for the Rebels with 20 RBI.
In the circle, UNLV Kwyn Cooper leads the team in innings pitched (80.1), wins (7), opponent’s batting average (.269), starts (14) and is second in strikeouts (25).
The Rebels are led by fifth year head coach Lisa Dodd, who brought a 72-89 record as a Division I coach, all at UNLV, into the 2016 season.
In the all-time series, UNLV holds a 42-18 advantage. In games contested in San Jose, the Spartans trail 17-12 all time, but in its last visit there, in 2014, SJSU took two of three from the Rebels.
ABACHERLI THRIVES IN LEADOFF ROLE
Brittany Abacherli (So. OF, Corona, Calif.) assumed the role of lead off hitter in the third game of the season and has been the team’s biggest weapon ever since.
Abacherli leads the team in at bats (91), runs (22), hits (29), home runs (6), RBI (27), total bases (52) and is 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
Among MW performers she is tied for first in homers, second in RBIs, fifth in runs and sixth in total bases.
RIGGS FOR RELIEF
Collette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) has appeared in 13 games this season with a team high 11 coming out of the bullpen, which ranks seventh in the Mountain West.
She ranks third on the team in innings (26.0) and strikeouts (17).
Riggs picked up the first win of her college career, a 10-2 five-inning run rule victory against Colgate (3/17) and then won number two in 3.2 innings of relief in the team’s 12-6 win over Seattle U (3/20).