San Jose, Calif. - San José State and the Colorado State will get their Mountain West softball series, originally scheduled for March 24-26, but postponed due to a blizzard, played with a doubleheader this Sunday (4/3) and single game on Monday (4/4) in Fort Collins, Colorado.
San Jose State Spartans (14-17, 3-0 MW)
Colorado State Rams (14-12, 0-0 MW)
April 3 - 12:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m. (MT); April 4 - 10:00 p.m. (MT)
Ram Field (500) - Fort Collins, Colo.
SPARTANS OPEN MW PLAY WITH SWEEP OF UNLV
It took six day’s longer than expected, but when the Spartans finally got conference play underway they announced to everyone that the preseason was over.
In a three-game sweep, San José State pounded UNLV by scores of 11-3 (5), 9-1 (5) & 6-3. SJSU outhit the Rebels 34-to-11 and outscored UNLV, the top run producing club in the league (5.46/g), 26-to-7.
12 DAYS LATER THE CSU SERIES IN ON
After being snowed out March 24-26, for the first time in program history, the forecast in Fort Collins calls for beautiful weather this weekend. With that in mind, the Spartans and Rams will make up their three-game series Sunday and Monday.
The schedule is set for a doubleheader on Sunday, April 3 (12:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.) and a single game on Monday, April 4 (10:00 a.m.). All times are local to the site.
PURDY LEADS NATION IN SELFLESSNESS
No player in the nation has given up her chance for self-glory this year more than Taylor Purdy (Sr., INF, Barstow, Calif.). Purdy has hit a Mountain West Conference and nation-leading four sacrifice flies in the team’s 31 games.
With one more sac fly she will tie for the program’s single-season record of five, which is shared by Sarah Smith (2007) and Brittany McConnell (2010). Purdy currently ranks sixth on the SJSU career sacrifice fly list with six.
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.
Category Rank Total (Record)
Batting Average 1 .382
Slugging Percentage 1 .622
On-base Percentage 1 .498
Hit by Pitch 1 26
Home Runs 3 20 (35)
Total Bases 3 330 (361)
With a good season, she could add career-leader in RBIs, total bases, hits, and runs to her already impressive resume.
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 in which they competed, and only twice won as many as two games in a seven-day stretch.
However, in its last 10 games the Spartans are 8-2, which includes a three-game sweep of UNLV earlier this week to open conference play.
In that 10-game stretch SJSU has averaged 9.2 runs per game.
TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD
In its three-game sweep of UNLV, San José State enjoyed a dominant performances at the plate and in the circle, but struggled with the leather.
Of the six players who started all three games, none batted below a .444 clip. As a team, SJSU hit .436, slugged .603 and had an on-base percentage of .510.
In the circle, each Spartan starter picked up a win, as a staff posted a 2.06 ERA and held UNLV to a .169 team batting average.
The only issue SJSU had was the team’s five errors.
PITCHERS SPREAD THE WEALTH
The Spartans used three pitchers in its series against UNLV and got quality starts and results from each.
Colette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) pitched a staff-high 7.2 innings while posting a 1-0 record with a save and a 0.00 ERA. Riggs scattered five hits in her two appearances and held the opponent to a .167 batting average.
Emily Rogers (Jr., RHP, Corona, Calif.) was 1-0 with a save in 5.2 innings spread among three appearances. She held the Rebels to a team-low .150 batting average and had an ERA of 3.71.
Katelyn Linford (Jr., RHP, San Ramon, Calif.) had a 3.82 ERA and a 1-0 record in 3.2 innings. She struck out three and held the opponent to a .200 batting average.
OFFENSE IS HEATING UP
In one week the Spartans have gone from fifth in MW and 70th in the nation in batting average (.304) to first and 40th (.316). SJSU also ranks in the top-100 nationally in doubles per game (27th at 1.61/g), scoring (42nd at 5.74/g), slugging percentage (78th at .446) and triples per game (96th at 0.19).
RIGGS FOR RELIEF
Collette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) has appeared in 15 games this season with a team-high 12 out of the bullpen, which ranks seventh in the Mountain West.
She is third on the team in innings (33.2) and strikeouts (19). So far this year, Riggs has won the first three games of her collegiate career and picked up her career save.
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 since.
Abacherli leads the team in at bats (100), runs (25), hits (33), home runs (6), RBI (31), total bases (58) and is 6-for-6 in stolen bases.
Among MW performers she is tied second in RBIs, third in homers and runs, fifth in total bases and seventh in runs.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Colorado State has had its first two conference series postponed due to weather and as of March 30 have a record of 14-12. The team is hosting a three-game series against Boise State on Friday and Saturday before the Spartans arrive in Fort Collins.
Its .282 team batting average is eighth in the MW and 3.82 staff ERA ranks fifth among the nine teams in the league.
Haley Hutton leads CSU (2nd in the MW) with a .449 batting average and tops the league in triples (5) and steals (11). Madison Kilcrease is the top run producer for the Rams with 18 RBI.
In the circle, Holly Reinke leads the team ERA (2.41), opponents batting average (.218), innings (93.0), strikeouts (61) and wins (9).
The Rams are led by sixth-year head coach Jen Fisher, who brought a 121-135 record at CSU into the 2016 season.
In the all-time series, CSU holds an 14-12 advantage. In games contested in Fort Collins, the Spartans trail 5-2 all time, but in its last visit there, in 2014, SJSU took two of three from the Rams.