April 3, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State softball gathered two wins in a doubleheader sweep over Penn State Wednesday at Secchia Stadium. MSU picked up a 4-1 win in the first game and then went on to defeat the Nittany Lions, 7-1, in the second game. The Spartans now own a 19-13 record on the season overall and are 5-0 in Big Ten play. The last 5-0 Big Ten start for the Spartans was in 2006 while the last five consecutive Big Ten wins for MSU was in 2007.
"Every game matters - I'm not as concerned with records as I am with how we play," said head coach Jacquie Joseph. "We are playing well and when we play well and let the game come to you, the records take care of themselves. We are heading back on the road and we need to keep playing well to have a position for success."
Junior Kelly Smith pitched the complete game in the first contest, allowing only one run and five hits while notching nine strikeouts. Smith improved her record to 13-7 on the season.
MSU started off swinging in the first game as sophomore Alyssa McBride hit a triple to right field in the first inning. Senior Kylene Hopkins hit a sacrifice bunt for an RBI to advance McBride across the plate.
After scoreless second and third innings, MSU increased its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Jayme O'Bryant hit a double to left center to notch an RBI as sophomore McKinzie Freimuth scored. Junior Emma Fernandez pinch ran for O'Bryant and reached home on a throwing error by the Penn State third baseman.
Penn State (7-21, 0-5) scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning to narrow the gap, 4-1.
Michigan State answered with a final run in the bottom of the fifth inning by senior Jenny Ramsaier. Redshirt sophomore Stephanie Sanders pinch hit for Freimuth and hit a single to left field to tally the RBI.
Ramsaier went 2-for-3 at the plate and Freimuth was 1-for-2.
In the second game, both teams were scoreless until the top of the third as Penn State put the first run on the scoreboard.
Michigan State took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, 5-1, with five earned runs. With Hopkins on third and O'Bryant on second, junior Sarah Bowling hit a single through the left side for Hopkins to score. Next, Ramsaier tallied an RBI with a single to right field to send O'Bryant home. Sanders pinch hit for junior Dana Briggs and hit a double for two RBIs. Briggs returned to the offense on second base and ran home on a wild pitch.
The Spartans earned their final runs in the bottom of the fifth as Bowling hit a two-run homer to left field. It marked Bowling's team-leading fifth home run of the season.
Freshman Dani Goranson (3-5) took the mound for the complete game and gave up only one run, earned, as she struck out two batters to earn the victory.
Hopkins and Bowling were 2-for-3 at bat.
Michigan State heads to Purdue for this weekend's series. The two teams will face off at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 5, to start off the competition. On Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, they will match up at 1 p.m.