Garcia And House Lead Spartans To Win

Reno, Nev. - The San Jose State softball team jumped on the Nevada Wolf Pack in the first inning with two runs and never looked back cruising to an 11-2 five-inning run-rule win in the opener of a three-game Western Athletic Conference (WAC) series on Friday afternoon.

Vanessa House went 4-for-4 on the day and knocked in three runs.  She has recorded a hit in each of her last eight plate appearances and has driven in three runs in each of the team's last three games.

"Vanessa is really seeing the ball right now," head coach Peter Turner said.  "She has gone through an adjustment period moving up to Division I, but I think she is finally comfortable and is starting to show the league what she can do."

Jessica Garcia also had a big day, driving in a career-high five runs on 2-for-3 from the plate and Michelle Cox reached base all four times she came up.

The Spartans (20-18, 4-2 WAC) opened the first with a single and a walk.  Three batters later House ripped a triple to the gap in right center plating two runs and giving San Jose State a quick 2-0 lead.

In the third, the Spartans added another run to increase their lead to 3-0.  Cox reached on an error by Nevada's second baseman Caylin Campbell and got herself into scoring position by stealing second base. She advanced to third on a passed ball and came home on an infield single from House.

Spartans starter Amanda Pridmore (11-7) allowed three of five hits on the day to Nevada (12-25, 3-4 WAC) batters in the third.  With one out in the frame, the Wolf Pack got three consecutive hits.  The third knock, by Lauren Lastrapes, scored Nevada's first run.  A fielding error on the play allowed a second run to score and cut the Spartans lead to 3-2 after three innings.

San Jose State came right back in the top of the next inning and scored four runs on four hits.  Cox reached base on her second walk of the day to load the bases with one out.  Garcia stepped to the plate and hammered a bases-clearing double down the right field line.  Another fielding error at second base, on a Breanna Lopez at-bat, scored Garcia and pushed the Spartans lead to 7-2.

In the fifth, San Jose State put the game away with four more runs.  Cox singled with two on to end a 20-plate appearance hitless drought and drove in a run.  Garcia knocked in two more runs on a double to center followed by an RBI double by Lopez for an 11-2 lead.

"I'm really happy that when Amanda (Pridmore) didn't have her best stuff, the team was able to pick her up and take care of business," Turner said.  "By ending this game quickly, it really opens things up for us in the circle.  We can come back with Amanda in the first game tomorrow and she should be strong and ready to go.  Or, we could wait to use her in game two and go with another option in game one.

"Getting the first win in a series is so crucial.  It puts us in the driver's seat for the rest of the weekend."

The teams return to the diamond on Saturday for a doubleheader to wrap up the series.  First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Christina M. Hixson Softball Park.