San Jose, Calif. - San José State, coming off a 5-1 week in Mountain West play last week, plays its second straight road series when it travels to Logan, Utah for a three-game set against the Utah State Aggies this weekend.
San José State Spartans (16-18, 5-1 MW)
Utah State Aggies (16-13, 4-2 MW)
April 8 - 3:00 p.m. (MT); April 9 - 12:00 p.m. (MT); April 10 - 12:00 p.m. (MT)
LaRee & LaGrand Johnson Field (500) - Logan, Utah
RIGGS & HUFSTETLER PITCHER & HITTER OF THE WEEK
Colette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) were named Mountain West Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, for the week of March 28 through April 4. In six games SJSU was 5-1.
In four appearances, Riggs was 3-0 in three starts and picked up a save. She was in the circle for 14.1 innings and struck out six. Riggs held opponents to 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and posted a 1.95 ERA. It’s Riggs’ first Mountain West Pitcher of the Week honor.
Hufstetler hit .571 (12-for-21), drove in 12 and scored eight times. She had four doubles, three triples and two home runs. It is Hufstetler’s first Mountain West Player of the Week honor this year and the third of her career.
HONORS KEEP ROLLING IN FOR HUFSTETLER
Hours after Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and USA Softball selected her for each organization’s weekly recognition.
The NFCA named her its Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week and USA Softball announced she was their Collegiate Player of the Week.
Hufstetler is the first Spartan to be honored with either USA Softball or NFCA’s weekly national award.
DOUBLE-DIGIT HITS LEAD TO GOOD THINGS
In 34 games this year SJSU has reached double-digit hits 15 times including all six Mountain West games. When the Spartans bang out at least 10 hits in a game they are 12-3, including a 5-1 record to open conference play.
There are 10 athletes in the Mountain West who have a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, and among that group the Spartans lead the conference with four players on the list.
The SJSU foursome are Alyssa Avila (Fr., C, Fresno , Calif.), Madison Aurin (Fr., INF, Bakersfield, Calif.), Alexandra Luna (Fr., C, San Jose, Calif.), and Jessica Madrid (Sr., OF, Santa Ana, Calif.).
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
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 14 games the Spartans are 11-3, which includes a three-game sweep of UNLV and taking 2-of-3 at Colorado State last week.
In that 14-game stretch SJSU has averaged 8.1 runs per game.
THESE LADIES CAN HIT
San José State has 13 players who have appeared in at least 20 games this season and of those players 11 are batting at least .300. Taylor Purdy (Sr., INF, Barstow, Calif.) is the only Spartan to appear in and start every game this year leads the squad with .375 average.
ABACHERLI STEPS UP
Brittany Abacherli (So., OF, Corona, Calif.) batted .103 in three starts and 53 appearances in 2015, but as the team’s everyday center fielder in 2016 she is a totally different player.
Abacherli is batting .340 (36-for-106), with six home runs and six doubles. She leads the team in RBI (32), slugging (.585) and steals (9-for-9).
RIGGS EMERGES IN 2016
Collette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) is fulfilling the promise she showed when she came from Esperanza High School in 2016.
So far this season, she has already set single-season bests in ERA (4.34), appearances (17), starts (5), innings (51.2), and strikeouts (20). Riggs has won the first three games of her career, in her last three starts, and in addition she picked up the first save of her career last week.
OFFENSE IS HEATING UP
Through eight weeks the Spartans are showing that once again they are one of the most potent offenses in the Mountain West and the nation.
SJSU’s .320 team batting average tops the league and ranks 40th in the nation. The team‘s 1.64 doubles per game are 17th best in the country. Other categories San José State ranks among the best in college softball are scoring (44th at 5.88 runs per game), slugging (76th at .452) and triples (82nd at .21 per game.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
Utah State starts the week with an overall record of 16-13, 4-2 in conference play. The team is coming off a three-game road sweep of UNLV and will play a pair of non-conference home games against Montana before hosting the Spartans this weekend.
Its .316 team batting average is second in the MW and 4.29 staff ERA ranks sixth among the nine teams in the league.
Sarah Chow leads Utah State (6th in the MW) with a .389 batting average and is a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen bases. Victoria Saucedo is the top run producer for the Aggies with 27 RBI.
In the circle, Noelle Johnson leads the team in wins (6), appearances (17), starts (11), innings (69.2) and strikeouts (47). Her 4.12 ERA is second highest on the staff.
The Aggies are led by third-year head coach Steve Johnson, who brought a 37-73 record as a Division I coach, all at USU, into the 2016 season.
In the all-time series, San José State holds an 36-30 advantage. In games contested in Logan, the Spartans trail 15-13 all time, but in its last two visits there, in 2012 and 2014, SJSU took two of three from the Aggies.