Jacquie Joseph Tallies 700th Career Win as Spartan Softball Sweeps Niagara
March 5, 2013
FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Michigan State softball head coach Jacquie Joseph picked up the 700th win of her career as the Spartans defeated Niagara, 2-1, in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon. In the second game, MSU outlasted the Purple Eagles, 8-1, and extended its winning streak to four games. The Spartans are now 13-7 on the season.
“I’m fortunate to have coached a lot of great players,” said Joseph. “And right now I’m thrilled the team is playing well.”
Joseph, who is in her 20th year as head coach at MSU and is the winningest coach in program history, has won 565 games at Michigan State after winning 136 games in five seasons at Bowling Green from 1989-93. She has guided MSU to four NCAA Regional appearances (1997, 1999, 2003, 2004) and is one of just three active coaches in the Big Ten to have at least 700 wins.
Joseph has posted three 40-win campaigns, including a school-record 47 wins in 1997. She was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading the Spartans to a 40-19 mark and a berth in the NCAA Regionals.
Joseph led the Spartans to their first-ever Big Ten Tournament title in 2004 with a tournament sweep of host Michigan, Northwestern and Illinois. In addition to the league tournament title, the three wins garnered State its second straight appearance in an NCAA Regional, which marked the first time in MSU history the softball team made consecutive appearances in NCAA postseason play.
In the first game against Niagara, Michigan State put the first run on the scoreboard during the top of the first as senior Kylene Hopkins crossed the plate, but the Purple Eagles tied up the score in the bottom half of the inning.
Senior Jenny Ramsaier collected what proved to be the game-winning RBI as she singled in the fourth inning, putting MSU on top, 2-1. The Spartans held their lead for the final three innings, as they edged Niagara, 2-1.
On the mound for the Spartans was freshman Dani Goranson (3-4), who allowed only one run and recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts.
MSU opened the scoring up in the second game with a run in the second inning, as Ramsaier hit a single to send sophomore Alyssa McBride across the plate. The Spartans gained a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning as sophomore Ellie Stoffer scored and freshman Destinee Luna collected an RBI.
Niagara closed the gap to 2-1 with one run during the top of the fifth. Michigan State answered the Purple Eagles, and scored four runs at the bottom of the fifth. Senior Jayme O’Bryant, Stoffer, McBride and sophomore Carly Nielsen all notched an RBI to give MSU a 6-1 lead.
Michigan State tallied its final runs as Hopkins and Sarah Bowling scored on an error by the Niagara pitcher, putting the final at 8-1.
Junior Kelly Smith pitched the complete game, giving up only one run and tying her career high with 14 strikeouts.
The Spartans head back to Boca Raton, Fla., to finish up its time at the FAU Classic on Thursday, March 7. MSU will face Ball State at 11 a.m. and Eastern Michigan at 1 p.m.
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