San Jose, Calif. - San José State softball begins its longest home stand of the season, six games over two weekends, hosting the Colorado State Rams in a three-game Mountain West series beginning on Friday at noon.
San Jose State Spartans (23-12, 3-3 MW)
Colorado State Rams (16-12, 4-5 MW)
April 7-9 - 12:00 p.m. (PT)
Softball Field (300) - Mission College, San Jose, Calif.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Colorado State enters the week with a 16-12 overall record, 4-5 in conference play.
Its .288 team batting average is the seventh best in the league and 96th highest in the nation. Amber Nelson leads the team and ranks second in the MW with a .447 average (34-for-76). She tops her team with 10 homers, 30 RBIs and is slugging .882. Haley Hutton, who is tied for the team-lead with five doubles, is batting .391 (26-for-84).
In the circle, the Rams have spread the work pretty evenly among three pitchers. Larissa Petakoff (5-3) lead the team with a 2.64 ERA in 47.2 innings. Kaylynn Pierce is 7-1 with a 4.12 ERA in 54.1 inning, but opponents are batting .311. Bridgette Hutton has tossed a staff-high 71.0 innings, but has a 4-6 record and a 4.63 ERA.
Colorado State is led by seventh-year head coach Jen Fisher, who brought a 143-159 record at CSU into the 2017 season Overall this is her 10th season as a Division I head coach and she brought in a 268-195 record.
In the all-time series, San José State trails the Rams 15-14. It’s a series which has been virtually even no matter where the teams have competed. In games played in San Jose, SJSU is 5-4 all time. In Fort Collins its CSU up 6-4 and at neutral sites the teams are tied 5-5.
Chelsea Jenner NAME MW PLAYER OF THE WEEK
While most students at San José State enjoyed Spring Break last week, Chelsea Jenner (Sr., OF, Abbotsford, B. C., Canada) was competing for the Spartans and while she wasn’t on a break she certainly enjoyed herself. In four games last week Jenner’s bat was sizzling earning her the Mountain West Softball Player of the Week honors.
She went 10-for-13 from the plate, a .769 batting average, scored four runs, and drove in three more without a strike out. Among her 10 hits, she had two doubles and a home run. Her on base percentage was .714 and she slugged 1.154.
Jenner went 2-for-3, with a home run, scored twice and drove in two runs in the team’s 10-0, run-rule victory over Loyola Marymount on Wednesday (3/29). Then in the first two games of a three-game Mountain West series at San Diego State, Jenner went 5-for-5. She was 3-for-3 with a double and scored a run in a 5-3 victory on Friday night. On Saturday, Jenner was 2-for-2 and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in a 5-3 loss. In the rubber game on Sunday, a nine-inning affair, she suffered her toughest day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored, but the team lost 7-6.
Looking to replace seniors at second and short, the Spartans look like they have found the bats in freshmen Cassidy Clark (Fr., INF, Fresno, Calif.) and Georgia Blair (Fr., INF, Gold Coast, Australia). Clark has made 33 starts at second, is hitting a team-high.369 (31-for-84), has 17 walks and a team-leading .495 on base percentage. Blair has started 22 of the last 25 games at short and is hitting .406 (28-for-69) with 17 RBIs and a team-high five homers and a .725 slugging percentage.
TEMPERATURE IS RISING ON THE SPARTANS’ BATS
One of the most prolific hitting teams in the nation for the last several years, the Spartans finished the 2015 season (.350 BA) and 2016 (.335 BA) ranked 7th and 10th nationally, respectively.
The bats got off to a slow start this season, but with the start of MW play, things are trending up. Overall, the Spartans are hitting .301, but have improved to .327 in conference play. The slugging percentage has gone from .423 to .458 and the on-base percentage is .393 overall, but in conference action is .404.
LINFORD NO-HITS NEVADA
Katelyn Linford (Sr., RHP, San Ramon, Calif.) tossed the first no-hitter of her collegiate career in the team’s 8-0 five-inning win over Nevada (3/18). She allowed two base runners (a hit batter in the second and a walk in the third for the only blemishes to her line), but did not allow them to advance past first base. She struck out seven in what was her seventh consecutive complete-game victory. The no-no was the 12th in SJSU Softball history.
LINFORD BACK-TO-BACK MW PITCHER OF THE WEEK
For two weeks in a row (3/6 - 3/19), Katelyn Linford (Sr., RHP, San Ramon, Calif.) was the toast of the all the Mountain West Conference hurlers. In the team’s nine games Linford posted a 7-1 record, with a save. The streak included the first no-hitter of her college career, and six complete-game victories.
During the stretch, she struck out 48 batters while walking just four in 50.2 innings. Opponents scored a total of 10 runs, nine earned for a 1.24 ERA. She is the first SJSU pitcher to be honored in back-to-back weeks by the Mountain West.
MOTHER ALWAYS SAID...DON’T WANDER
If you are an opponent intent on stealing, you best not wander to far from the base. Alexandra Luna (So., C, San Jose, Calif.) and Alyssa Avila (So., C, Fresno, Calif.) have pretty much split time evenly behind the plate, Luna with 15 starts and Avila with 16, and each has picked off three runners. So if you want to try to get a better secondary lead...you better be sure you can get back or they will get ya!
LINNY ON THE LISTS
With 15 wins heading into this week, Katelyn Linford (Sr., RHP, San Ramon, Calif.) is tied with Carol Forbes (2002) and Roxanne Bejarano (2007) for ninth place on the single season list. Madison Fish, won 16 games in 2015 and ranks eighth. Her four saves tie her with Amanda Pridmore (2010) for fifth place on the programs single season list
For her career, Linford’s 41 wins and 332 strikeouts are the fifth most for a Spartan and she ranks in the top-10 in appearances (106), starts (70) and innings pitched (424.0).