San Jose, Calif. - San José State, after dropping its first conference series last weekend, looks to rebound this week, but will have to do it on the road in a three-game set at Nevada.
San José State Spartans (19-21, 8-4 MW)
Nevada Wolf Pack (30-9, 8-4 MW)
April 22 - 4:00 p.m.; April 23 - 1:00 p.m.; April 24 - 12:00 p.m.
Christina M. Hixon Softball Park (1,000) - Reno, Nev.
HUFSTETLER TWO-TIME MW PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) has been honored as the Mountain West Softball Player of the Week two times this year and is the only player to win it in back-to-back weeks. She was the first player this season to be honored twice by the conference in its weekly award program and has received the award four times in all in her career.
In nine games over two weeks (March 28 through April 10), the Spartans were 7-2 and Hufstetler tore the cover off the ball.
She hit .548 (17-for-31), drove in 21 and scored 14 times. She had four doubles, three triples and six home runs. Hufstetler slugged 1.452, had an on-base percentage of .571 and a 1.000 fielding percentage.
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.
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-4 of 12 career offensive categories.
Category Rank Total (Record)
Batting Average 1 .391
Slugging Percentage 1 .643
On-Base Percentage 1 .487
Doubles 1 53
Walks 1 88
Hit by Pitch 1 30
RBI 1 174
Total Bases 1 370
Sacrifice Flies 2 9 (10)
Home Runs 3 26 (35)
Hits 3 225 (266)
Runs 4 124 (164)
With a good season, she could add career-leader in sacrifice flies already impressive resume.
DOUBLE-DIGIT HITS LEAD TO GOOD THINGS
In 40 games this year SJSU has reached double-digit hits 19 times including 10-of-12 Mountain West games. When the Spartans bang out at least 10 hits in a game they are 15-4, including a 8-2 in conference play.
NATIONAL HONORS FOR HUFSTETLER
Hours after Jessie Hufstetler (Sr., INF, Atascadero, Calif.) earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors on April 5, 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.
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 20 games the Spartans are 14-6, 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 20-game stretch SJSU has averaged 8.3 runs per game.
RIGGS MW PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Colette Riggs (Jr., RHP, Yorba Linda, Calif.) was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Week for March 28 through April 4. In six games that week 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.
THESE LADIES CAN HIT
San José State has nine players who have started at least 20 games this season and of those players, eight are batting at least .300. Jessica Madrid (Sr., OF, Santa Ana, Calif.) leads the team with a .400 average. Taylor Purdy (Sr., INF, Barstow, Calif.) is the only Spartan to appear in and start every game this year ranks second with a .391 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 completely different player.
Abacherli is batting .339 (43-for-127), with a team-leading eight home runs, including a grand slam against SDSU as well as eight doubles. She leads the team in RBI (39) and steals (12-for-12).
SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK
Nevada starts the week with an overall record of 30-9, 8-4 in conference play and tied with the Spartans for second place in the Mountain West. The team took two-of-three at UNLV last weekend and has won seven of its last nine.
The Wolf Pack pitching staff boasts the conferences best ERA at 2.49 and its batters ranks third among the nine teams in the league with a .313 average.
Jennifer Purcell leads Nevada (2nd in the MW) with a .417 batting average and leads the league in doubles (18). Megan Sweet is the top run producer for the Wolf Pack with a conference leading 42 RBI.
In the circle, Brooke Bolinger leads the team and the Mountain West in ERA (2.01), innings (135.2), strikeouts (98), starts (22). Her 14 wins are second in the league and the most on the staff.
The Wolf Pack are led by head coach Matt Meuchel, who brought a 164-202 record in eight years at Nevada into the 2016 season.
In the all-time series, the Spartans hold a 30-18 advantage. In games contested in Reno, the Spartans lead 11-5 all time, and in six series played on the Wolf Pack’s home diamond San José State has only lost once.