SANTA CLARA, Calif. – San Jose State softball wrapped up the week with its first Mountain West series sweep of the season and a winning conference record.
At Mission College in nearby Santa Clara, the Spartans beat the visiting Boise State Broncos 3-1 on Saturday, with all three runs coming off a Madison Aurin fourth inning, one-out home run. San Jose State won 6-2 on Thursday and 1-0 on Friday, both also at Mission College.
“It’s tough to beat somebody three days in a row,” commented San Jose State head coach Peter Turner.
“It’s really nice to have my team pick me up and get me some runs, and it’s nice to have more than one so you have extra room,” added Linford.
Pitching six strikeouts to three hits, Katelyn Linford got the win and improved to 17-6. For Boise State, Christina Washington took the loss.
Neither team had a hit for the first three innings, until Casey Watt singled to left field in the bottom of the fourth. However, Watt was tagged out attempting to steal second base, something that cost Aurin a grand slam.
“I had her on a straight steal on a 3-1 count, because I wanted to move the left side out and clear it open…Casey flat didn’t run,” explained Turner.
Setting up Aurin’s big hit, Cassidy Clark hit an infield single, and Georgia Blair walked.
“I told myself, ‘Just have a good day, free swing, see the ball, hit the ball,’” said Aurin.
Washington was benched after giving up the home run. Reliever Paige Reimann struck out Chelsea Jenner and Emma Entzminger to end the inning and gave up only one hit in 2.2 innings pitched.
“From my previous at-bat, [Washington] was just going one ball in, one ball out, and I had fouled off an outside pitch,” commented Aurin about her next at-bat that generated a home run.
Boise State responded with two singles by Cassidy Edwards and Tatiana Sorokina in the fifth. With two outs, a pitch bounced away from catcher Alyssa Avila, and Edwards beat the tag and scored what would be Boise State’s only run. Linford tossed a strikeout to Karlee Johnson to thwart the rally.
In the sixth inning, Blair hit a one-out triple to the right field corner, but two popups stranded Blair on base.
This series sweep moves San Jose State up to 27-14 (7-5 MW) and a second place tie with San Diego State. Friday is the beginning of a three-game series at rival Fresno State, who swept San Jose State and won the MW championship in rival territory.
“We have a huge dislike for Fresno State. That’s a tradition that we’ll always have…I didn’t bring it up this week, because we needed to concentrate on Boise [State],” said Turner.
- San Jose State has won nine consecutive games against Boise State dating back to the 2015 season.
- At 16 wins on the season, Linford is now tied with Madison Fish (2012-2015) for eighth place in single season wins.