March 28, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team will host Indiana in the 2013 Big Ten home opener this weekend. The three-game series with the Hoosiers begins on Friday, March 29, at 4 p.m. at Secchia Stadium and continues on Saturday at 1 p.m. The series will conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be broadcast by Big Ten Digital Network on btn.com. Michigan State is 14-13 on the season, while Indiana is 16-16 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.
The Hoosiers lead the Spartans, 60-46, in the all-time series. Last season, MSU fell to Indiana in the three game series, 4-2, 6-5, and 6-5. MSU last posted a win in 2010 on the road as it edged Indiana in the second of the two-game series, 5-2.
Last Time Out...
The Spartans finished up their tournament season on Saturday, March 16 at the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind. MSU fell to Wright State, 2-1, and Central Michigan, 3-0. Games on Sunday against UIC and Toledo were cancelled due to snow and low temperatures. Sophomore Alyssa McBride led the offense for MSU going 3-for-5 at the plate.
Spartan Scouting Report...
Senior Kylene Hopkins paces the Spartans with a .434 batting average. Of her 36 hits this season, two are doubles and another two are triples. The senior has notched six RBIs and leads the team with 19 runs. With 171 hits tallied in her career, she is 17th in the Michigan State record book.
Leading the Spartans in RBIs is junior Sarah Bowling with 20 on the season. Bowling has also tallied a team high three home runs and is third on the team in doubles, with four. Senior Jayme O'Bryant has compiled 18 RBIs and is tied with Ellie Stoffer to lead the team with six doubles.
Splitting time on the mound are junior Kelly Smith and freshman Dani Goranson. In 112 2/3 innings pitched, Smith has compiled an 11-7 record, 2.30 ERA and 125 strikeouts. Goranson has pitched 57 innings and posted a 2.58 ERA with a 2-5 record.
Spartans in the Rankings...
As a team, Michigan State is seventh in the conference in batting (.277) and pitching (2.78 ERA). The Spartans also tie for fifth in the conference for triples (5) and tie for first in sacrifice bunts (28).
Senior Kylene Hopkins sits at sixth in the conference for individual batting at .434. Hopkins sits at fourth in on base percentage (.530) and eighth in hits (36). Sophomore McKinzie Freimuth ties for first in the Big Ten with 10 sacrifice bunts.
Junior Kelly Smith is ninth in the conference for pitching with a 2.30 ERA in 112 2/3 innings pitched; the third highest innings pitched in the conference. Smith's 125 batters struck out is fourth highest in the Big Ten. Freshman Dani Goranson sits at 11th in the Big Ten with a 2.58 ERA.
Indiana Scouting Report...
The Hoosiers are 16-16 this season and have posted a 1-2 record in Big Ten play. Last weekend, Indiana faced off against Ohio State. The Hoosiers fell 9-5 and 8-2 on Friday and Monday respectively, while edging the Buckeyes 6-4 in nine innings on Saturday.
Amanda Wagner leads Indiana with a .473 batting average, 16 RBIs, 35 hits, 10 doubles and four home runs in 29 games played. Tying Wagner's team-high of 16 RBIs is Brianna Meyer, who also has a .363 batting average.
In the circle, Lora Olson leads with a 2.60 ERA and a 6-6 record on the season. Olson has pitched 70 innings and notched 42 strikeouts. Meaghan Murphy posts a team-high of 81 strikeouts and sits at second with a 3.00 ERA in 102 2/3 innings pitched. Murphy owns a 9-9 record.
Hoosiers in the Rankings...
Indiana sits at sixth in the Big Ten standings, ranks 10th in team batting (.254) and 11th in team pitching (3.24 ERA).
Amanda Wagner holds the No. 1 spot for individual batting in the conference notching a .473 batting average and takes second in doubles (10). Wagner also has recorded a .574 on base percentage.
Coach Jacquie Joseph picked up the 700th win of her career as the Spartans defeated Niagara, 2-1, on March 5. Joseph is in her 20th year as head coach at MSU and is the winningest coach in program history. She has won 565 games at Michigan State after winning 136 games in five seasons at Bowling Green from 1989-93. She has guided MSU to four NCAA Regional appearances (1997, 1999, 2003, 2004) and is one of just three active coaches in the Big Ten to have at least 700 wins.
Joseph has posted three 40-win campaigns, including a school-record 47 wins in 1997. She was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading the Spartans to a 40-19 mark and a berth in the NCAA Regionals.
The last six games for the Spartans have been cancelled or postponed. MSU's matchup against Toledo was cancelled at the Hoosier Classic and has been rescheduled for a home game on Wednesday, April 17, at 4 p.m. The home opener against Western Michigan was postponed until Wednesday, April 10, at 4 p.m. due to inclement weather last week. The Penn State series has been rescheduled as a doubleheader for Tuesday, April 2, at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The MSU softball squad will continue its homestand on Tuesday, April 2, in a doubleheader against Penn State at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.