March 11, 2011
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Michigan State softball team (11-10) split its opening day at the Florida Atlantic Parents' Weekend Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., on Friday, March 11. The Spartans started the day strong, run-ruling Middle Tennessee State (5-11) by a score of 12-2 before falling in a tough 3-2 extra-inning affair to Hofstra (8-7).
The Spartans scored early and often against Middle Tennessee State in game one. Junior Brett Williams got the score started with a grand slam in the top of the first to drive home junior Lori Padilla, sophomore Kylene Hopkins and senior Lindsey Hansen, giving MSU the early 4-0 lead.
The Green and White continued with the hot bats in the second when three additional runs were scored. Hopkins ripped a singled up the middle to score sophomore Mary Kate DiVirgilio, who was running for sophomore Jayme O'Bryant. Padilla wound up scoring on the play after a throwing error by MTSU's center fielder. Junior Lauren Kramer drove in the final run of the inning with an infield single to score Hopkins.
Hopkins singled up the middle to score MSU's lone run in the third to score Padilla from second, handing MSU the 8-0 lead.
The Blue Raiders got on the board for its only time in the bottom of the fourth with two runs. Kaycee Popham doubled to center to score both Kelsey Dortch and Natalie Ysais.
MSU closed out the game with a four run fifth inning to push its lead to 10 runs. Padilla singled through the left side to score freshman Sarah Bowling from third. Hopkins forced a bases loaded walk to bring home O'Bryant. Hansen scored the last runs of the game with a single up the middle to score both Padilla and senior Heidi Purtzer.
Kramer earned the complete game win for MSU and improved to 5-3 on the season. Kramer struck out six of her 21 batters faced and allowed two earned runs on five MTSU hits.
Janele Robinson falls to 0-3 on the season as she allowed 12 runs, 11 unearned in her 4.0 innings of work. Robinson allowed 12 hits while facing 30 batters.
With the game tied 2-2 after the seventh, the game went to the international tiebraker rule, with a runner placed on second to start each half inning. After a scoreless eighth, Jess Hirschbuhl singled up the middle in the ninth to bring home Laura Valentino for the game winning run and end the game at 3-2 after MSU was unable to match Hofstra's run.
Game two opened with four scoreless innings by both teams. Hofstra struck first in the top of the fifth with two runs. Jess Zeilman doubled down the line in right to bring home Valentino was on first. Zeilman was replaced on the bases by Krista Thorn who ended up scoring off a single up the middle by Rachael Senatore.
Michigan State tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Hansen tied former Spartan Stacey Phillips' all-time home run mark with her 31st homer in her career. Hansen blasted a home run to dead center to also bring home Hopkins and tie the game at 2-2.
Olivia Galati pitched a 9.0 inning win for Hofstra and improves to 5-5 within the circle. Galati struck out 17 batters while allowing only two earned runs on four Spartan hits.
Freshman Cassee Layne was the pitcher of record for MSU, falling to 4-6 this year after her 8.1 innings of work against Hofstra. Layne struck out eight of her 38 batters and allowed three runs, two unearned, on 10 hits.
Action continues for the Spartans in Boca Raton, Fla., when they play Buffalo on Saturday, March 12 at 11 a.m. for game three of the Parents' Weekend Tournament.