March 9, 2010
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Already the all-time winningest coach in program history, Michigan State softball head coach Jacquie Joseph has now become the first in school history to achieve the 500-win milestone. The Spartans captured Joseph's 500th victory at MSU when they downed Connecticut 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
"I think it is a great achievement," said Joseph on her career milestone. "I love being the head coach here at Michigan State, and I have really enjoyed all of the players over the years. I know a lot of people always downplay these milestones, but in today's world, to be able to stay at a school this long is more unusual than not, and I very much enjoy and am proud to be the head coach at Michigan State."
Down 1-0 in the top of the third, the Spartans scored the final four runs of the game to defeat the Huskies. MSU scored its first run when freshman Jayme O'Bryant singled to second and scored junior Jessica Bracamonte from third. Sophomore Ali Grant knocked in the go-ahead run next with a base hit, scoring freshman Kylene Hopkins and bringing the score to 2-1.
MSU scored two insurance runs in the fifth and sixth inning to secure its win over the Huskies. In the fifth, O'Bryant hit a sacrifice to left to bring in Bracamonte for the second time in the game. Sophomore Lauren Kramer blasted a solo home run in the sixth to bring the Spartans' lead to 4-1.
UConn scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the second when Jessica Arremony doubled to left, scoring Kathleen Brenneman, who was pinch running of Amy Vaughan.
Earning the win for MSU was senior Kelly Confer (2-5) who struck out four while allowing only two hits and one earned run in a complete game. Tricia Sullivan (0-5) took the loss for Connecticut and allowed three-earned runs in seven innings of work.
"We pitched great and played pretty good defense, two things that we have been doing pretty much all season," said Joseph. "We were able to create some offense today and score some runs, and that was the difference. We really have been pretty consistent with pitching and defense, other than that Northridge trip. If you look at the numbers, we scored plenty of runs to win all of our one-run games, and we lost seven of them and that just kills you. I thought the game against Connecticut was a complete game in all three phases - pitching, defense and hitting."
In game two against No. 16 Florida State, the Spartans were blanked by Sarah Hamilton (11-1) who toed the rubber for the Seminoles. Hamilton threw six-scoreless innings while striking out eight Spartans. FSU topped the Green and White by a score of 7-0.
FSU scored two runs in the first, jumping out to a quick 2-0 advantage.
The Seminoles (23-2) extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when Jen Lapicki doubled to right, bringing in Shayla Jackson.
Carly Wynn knocked in her lone RBI when she doubled down left to score Kristie McConn from second in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 4-0.
Florida State recorded its second two-run inning in the sixth when Jackson got things started with a grounder to first which brought in Tiffani Brown. Tory Haddad knocked in the second run of the inning when she doubled to left, bringing in Wynn and making the score 6-0.
The final run of the game was scored in the seventh inning when McConn was singled home from second by Ashley Stager, bringing the final score to 7-0.
Kramer (4-5) earned the loss for MSU, tossing 6.2 innings of work while allowing seven earned runs on 12 hits.
After two days off, the Spartans will return to action on Friday (March 12) when they travel to Miami, Fla., for the FIU Golden Panther Invite. MSU will open action on Friday with a doubleheader against the Golden Panthers at 4 p.m. The Green and White will conclude its week in the state of Florida with a doubleheader against George Washington on Saturday (March 13). Action is slated to begin at 12 p.m. against the Colonials.