Softball Splits Wednesday Doubleheader With Oakland
Melanie Bensema blasts team's first grand slam in park history.
April 27, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team (22-22) snapped its four game skid with a game one win, 8-0, over Oakland on Wednesday, April 27 during a doubleheader in East Lansing at Secchia Stadium. In the second game, the Golden Grizzlies were victorious over the Green and White with a 5-3 win.
"I thought we played well defensively in both games today," said head coach Jacquie Joseph. "In the first game, we saw some important back-to-back hits, which really allowed us to get out in front early. During the second game, we had hits, but they weren't during key situations in the game and our pitching got away from us at moments in game two."
With the first batter of the inning flying out to center, junior Lori Padilla reached base off an infield single. Padilla made her way to second with her eighth stolen base of the season, and after senior Lindsey Hansen reached base on a walk, Padilla advanced to third as the ball was being thrown back to the pitcher. Junior Lauren Kramer put the ball into center field to score Padilla, while Hansen was thrown out at home on the play at the plate by the center fielder.
Following a walk to junior Brett Williams, and sophomore Mary Kate DiVirgilio reaching base off an error by the shortstop, the Spartans found themselves in a bases loaded situation in the first inning. Junior Melanie Bensema stepped into the batter's box as a pinch hitter and put the ball over the fence in straight-away center for the first MSU grand slam in stadium history. The home run also marked Bensema's first hit of the season. The Spartans held a 5-0 advantage at the end of the first frame.
In the fifth, Hansen moved the MSU lead 7-0 when she blasted the ball down the left field line for her 17th home run of the season, and her third in the past two days. Hansen also drove in Padilla, who reached base off an error at first.
The Spartans ended the first game in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore Jenny Ramsaier led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second off an error by the center fielder. Ramsaier was moved over to third by sophomore Kylene Hopkins' sacrifice bunt. Junior Ali Grant capped off the game with a single up the middle to score Ramsaier, giving MSU an 8-0 lead.
Freshman Cassee Layne pitched a complete game shutout for the Spartans, her seventh of the season. In 6.0 innings of work, Layne recorded two strikeouts and only three hits, improving to 10-13 overall on the season.
Marisa Everitt drops to 5-8 for Oakland this year. In 4.1 innings pitched, Everitt allowed seven runs on four hits while striking out three batters.
MSU carried its stellar offensive performance into game two as it posted the first run of the game off a single to right field by Kramer. Kramer drove in Grant from third, who originally reached base with a lead-off double to left.
Oakland, however, got on the board for the first time on day in the top of the third inning with a two- run frame. Erika Polidori doubled to drive in Shelby Gott from second base for the first run. Gott was the first Grizzly to reach base in the inning with her single to center. Polidori wound up scoring as the next batter, Erin Galloway, singled in Polidori from second base, giving OU a 2-1 lead
The Spartans tied the contest up at 2-2 when Hansen singled in her third RBI of the day in Grant with a poke to center field.
Following a scoreless fourth by both sides, OU once again got on the board in the fifth inning with a single by Polidori to score home Alyssa Deacon. Deacon led off the inning with an infield single. Oakland held a 3-2 lead at the end of five.
Michigan State once again tied the game up at 3-3 in the sixth inning, when Kramer singled up the middle to score Hansen from third. Hansen opened the frame with a lead-off triple off the fence in left field.
Polidori knocked in the final two runs of the game for the Golden Grizzlies with a two-run double in the top of the seventh. Polidori put the ball into right-center field to score Kelsey Krych and Gott from first and second, respectively.
The Spartans were unable to manufacture any runs in the bottom of the seventh as one runner was left stranded on base.
Brittany Doyle earned the decision for Oakland, improving to 4-8 on the year. Doyle pitched a complete game for the Golden Grizzlies, allowing three earned runs on nine hits while striking out four batters.
Sophomore Shelby Wise took the tough loss for the Spartans and falls to 3-5 this season. Wise pitched 3.1 innings in relief, allowing three earned runs on five hits while recording three strikeouts. Kramer earned the start for the Green and White, throwing 3.0 innings with two earned runs on four hits.
MSU hits the road for the first time in five games when it travels to Minneapolis, Minn., for a two-game conference series against the Golden Gophers. Game one is scheduled for Saturday, April 30 with game two on Sunday, May 1. Both games are slated to start at 2 p.m. ET, with Sunday's contest also live on the Big Ten Network.