San Jose, Calif. - San José State, coming off taking two-of-three at Utah State last weekend, hosts the San Diego State Aztecs in a three-game series on SJSU Field, beginning on Friday afternoon.
San José State Spartans (18-19, 7-2 MW)
San Diego State Aztecs (22-18, 4-8 MW)
April 15 - 12:00 p.m.; April 16 - 12:00 p.m.; April 17 - 12:00 p.m.
SJSU Field (500) - San Jose, Calif.
LIVE STATS: Game Tracker (sjsuspartans.com)
VIDEO: Spartan Digital/Mountain West Network (April 15 & April 16)
HUFSTETLER MW PLAYER OF THE WEEK...AGAIN
For the second week in a row, Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) is the Mountain West Softball Player of the Week. She is the first player this season to be honored twice by the conference in its weekly award program. It’s the fourth time in her career she has received the award.
In three games at Utah State, she hit .500 (5-for-10), drove in nine and scored six times. Hufstetler slugged 1.700, had an on-base percentage of .583 and a 1.000 fielding percentage, as the Spartans took two-of-three from the Aggies.
She drove in at least one run with each of her five hits, blasting four home runs, all two-run shots, and an RBI single.
HUFSTETLER TAKES TWO MORE CAREER CATEGORIES
In game three of the Utah State series, a 15-3 SJSU win, Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) went 3-for-4 with two homers. She scored three runs, and drove in five. The left-handed slugger passed Pat Martinez (1993-96) for the program’s total bases record and Brittany McConnell (2006-10) for the RBI record. She finished the series with 170 career RBIs, 364 total bases and moved to within one home run of Kara Kanney (27 in 1996-98, ‘00) for second place on the SJSU all-time home run list.
LAST TWO WEEKS ARE ALL ABOUT HUFSTETLER
In the last two weeks Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) has picked up a bunch of hardware. Last week she earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors, Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week and USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week and this week was again named the Mountain West Player of the Week.
Hufstetler is the first Spartan to be honored with either USA Softball or NFCA’s weekly national award and the only player this year to earn two POW honors in the Mountain West
DOUBLE-DIGIT HITS LEAD TO GOOD THINGS
In 37 games this year SJSU has reached double-digit hits 17 times including all eight-of-nine Mountain West games. When the Spartans bang out at least 10 hits in a game they are 14-3, including a 7-1 in conference play.
San Jose State has 10 players with perfect 1.000 fielding percentages and among them four are everyday players.
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 17 games the Spartans are 13-4, which includes a three-game sweep of UNLV and taking 2-of-3 at Colorado State and Utah State in the last two weeks.
In that 17-game stretch SJSU has averaged 8.5 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. Jessica Madrid (Sr., OF, Santa Ana, Calif.) leads the team with a .381 average. Taylor Purdy (Sr., INF, Barstow, Calif.) is the only Spartan to appear in and start every game this year ranks second with a .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 .339 (40-for-118), with a team-leading seven home runs and seven doubles. She leads the team in RBI (37) and steals (11-for-11).
RIGGS EMERGES IN 2016
Collette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) has announced her dominance in the circle since the start of MW play.
In five appearances, she is 4-0 with a save and a 2.41 ERA. She leads the team in innings (20.1) and opponents batting average (.215).
OFFENSE IS HEATING UP
Through nine 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 .324 team batting average tops the league and ranks 25th in the nation. The team‘s 1.70 doubles per game are 18th best in the country. Other categories San José State ranks among the best in college softball are scoring (24th at 6.38 runs per game), slugging (46th at .487) and triples (67th at .22 per game)
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
San Diego State starts the week with an overall record of 22-18, 4-8 in conference play. The team dropped two-of-three against Colorado State last weekend and has lost five of its last six.
SDSU’s team batting average of .292 is last in the MW but 3.62 staff ERA ranks third among the nine teams in the league.
Jenavee Peres leads San Diego State (6th in the MW) with a .438 batting average and is a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases. Molly Sturdivant and Katie Byrd are the top run producers for the Aztecs with 21 RBI each.
In the circle, Erica Romero leads the team in wins (10), appearances (31), starts (14), innings (107.2) and strikeouts (78). Her 3.15 ERA is tied with Julie McDonald for the best on the staff.
Head coach Kathy Van Wyk, who brought a 655-433 record in 19 years at SDSU into the 2016 season, leads the Aztecs.
In the all-time series, San Diego State holds a 22-16 advantage. In games contested in San Jose, the Spartans trail 9-8 all time, and in its only trip of San Jose since the Spartans joined the MW, SDSU took two of three from the SJSU.