San José State Defeats Cal State Fullerton for Program's First NCAA Softball Championship Win

Release courtesy of San José State Athletics

Los Angeles, Calif.Brittany Abacherli hit a solo homer in the second inning and Katelyn Linford tossed her sixth complete-game shutout of the season as the San José State softball team defeated Cal State Fullerton 3-0 on Friday night in game one of the 2017 Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Softball Championship.

The win is the first in postseason in San José State softball history.

Emma Entzminger led of the game and was hit by a pitch for the 18th time. She has been hit 35 times in her career and is two from Jessie Hufstetler’s career record of 37.

In the top of the second, the Spartans (37-17) got on the board. Abacherli (2-for-3, R, RBI, HR) took the first pitch she saw from CSF starter Kelsey Kessler and hammered it over the right field fence for a 1-0 lead. It was the fifth homer of the year for the junior from Corona, Calif.

In the bottom of the second, a Linford throwing error on a comebacker, led to a CSF base runner and after another comebacker she moved to second. A single to center kept things going for Cal State Fullerton (33-22). But when the runner on second tried to go home and tie the game, Abacherli threw a dart to catcher Alyssa Avila who applied the tag to keep SJSU in the lead.

In the sixth the Spartans put the game away. With one out, Entzminger (0-for-2, R) walked and then moved to second on a groundout by Casey Watt. Cassidy Clark walked to put two runners on. Georgia Blair then hit a grounder to short, which Entzminger had to dodge to avoid being hit and called out.

Her fancy footwork led to an error by the Titans shortstop, which loaded the bases. Madison Aurin (1-for-3, 2RBI) then singled to center driving in two unearned runs and giving SJSU a 3-0 lead.

Linford, who has been battling a cold all week, battled in the circle. She surrendered just three hits in the game, struck out three while not allowing a walk. She improved her record to 24-7 on the year and of her 71 pitches, 51 were strikes.

Kessler (19-8) took the loss. In 5.2 innings she allowed three hits and three runs, just one earned. She had one strikeout and walked two.

The Spartans advance in the winner’s side of the bracket and will face the UCLA Bruins, which no-hit Lehigh on Friday night at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.