March 30, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State improves its record to 16-13 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten as it defeated Indiana 10-7 on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Carly Nielsen notched her first win of the season on the mound for the Spartans. Senior Jayme O’Bryant and junior Sarah Bowling both tallied home runs.
“This was a huge program win for us,” said head coach Jacquie Joseph. “We didn’t play well but found a way to win, that’s my second favorite way to win a game. Our team showed great mental toughness to hang in there and just keep scoring.”
Indiana (16-18, 1-4) scored two runs in the first inning to put them up 2-0 as MSU went to bat. In the bottom of the first, sophomore Alyssa McBride scored the first run off of a single by O’Bryant to the left side. MSU narrowed the gap in score, 2-1.
At the top of the second, the Hoosiers put another run on the scoreboard and improved their lead to 3-1.
The Spartans answered to the Hoosiers scoring with five runs in the bottom of the second. McBride notched an RBI as she singled to the circle and freshman Destinee Luna scored. Next, junior Dana Briggs scored from a single by sophomore McKinzie Freimuth to center field. O’Bryant notched three RBIs with a home run to left field past the fence, sending senior Kylene Hopkins and Freimuth across the plate.
Entering the third inning, MSU had a 6-3 lead over IU. Indiana responded and tied the score at six with one run in the third inning and two in the fourth. Michigan State was scoreless in the bottom of the third inning.
MSU took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth as Bowling hit a home run past the fence in left field (7-6).
Michigan State held Indiana scoreless in the top of the fifth inning as it scored three runs. Hopkins was first as she singled to shortstop to send McBride home. Next, O’Bryant tallied her fifth RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly out to right field for Freimuth to cross the plate. Sophomore Ellie Stoffer put the final MSU run on the scoreboard with a hit to right center for Hopkins to score.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Indiana lessened the deficit but was unable to take the lead with one run at the top of the seventh.
Sharing time on the mound for the Spartans were freshman Dani Goranson, Nielsen and junior Kelly Smith. Goranson pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs, two earned. Mid-game, Nielsen took over and gave up two runs to Indiana, one earned, as well as recorded one strikeout. Smith saw Indiana score one run, earned, and notched four strikeouts to tie for ninth in the record books of single-season strikeouts.
Leading the MSU offense was O’Bryant with five RBIs and 2-for-3 at the plate. McBride at bat was 4-for-5 and Hopkins registered a 2-for-3 record at bat.
Michigan State will face Indiana in the final game of the series Sunday, March 31, at 1 p.m.