March 2, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Michigan State softball returned to Florida to begin its spring break trip at the Florida Atlantic University Classic. The Spartans started Saturday with a 4-2 win against Ball State, but suffered a loss later in the day to Jacksonville, 5-2.
In the game against the Cardinals (8-5), junior Kelly Smith pitched the complete game and set a season-high with 14 strikeouts. Junior Sarah Bowling and senior Jayme O’Bryant each put two runs on the scoreboard by hitting doubles.
Ball State scored the first runs, earning one run in the second and another in the third inning.
Michigan State answered Ball State’s runs in the bottom of the third. Sophomore McKinzie Freimuth hit a sacrifice bunt to advance senior Jenny Ramsaier and senior Kylene Hopkins to scoring position at second and third, respectively. Bowling met the expectations and hit a double to right center field to tally two RBIs.
While the fourth inning went scoreless, MSU secured its win in the fifth inning. O’Bryant record two RBIs with a double down the left field line, sending Hopkins and Freimuth across the plate.
The Cardinals were unable to come back against Smith’s unstoppable pitching, finalizing the score at 4-2.
Smith only allowed two runs, both of which were earned, in seven innings pitched, and improved her record to 7-2 on the season.
O’Bryant was 2-for-3 and Hopkins was 1-for-1 in the first matchup.
In the faceoff against Jacksonville, the Dolphins started the game off with two runs in the first inning and added another in the third.
Bowling hit a home run in the top of the fourth to close the deficit in score to 3-1.
Jacksonville (12-5) met MSU’s run and posted one run of its own at the bottom of the fourth.
The fifth inning went scoreless and both teams tallied one run in the sixth. Hopkins crossed the plate after Bowling singled down the left field line to score MSU’s final run of the game. The Dolphins pushed past the Spartans, 5-2.
On the mound for the Spartans, freshman Dani Goranson (2-4) gave up three runs, all earned, and struck out one batter in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Smith pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned.
Picking up the win was Jacksonville’s Victoria Brown (5-1), pitching six innings and only allowing MSU two runs, both earned.
Sophomore Alyssa McBride led the Spartans by going 3-for-3 at the plate and Bowling went 2-for-3 along with two RBIs.
Michigan State continues action on Sunday against Harvard at 11 a.m. and Florida Atlantic at 1 p.m.