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Softball Readies for Central Michigan

Senior Ali Grant

April 3, 2012

Live Stats

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Spartan softball squad will take a break from Big Ten action on Wednesday (April 4) when they take on Central Michigan. The mid-week tilt will take place at 4 p.m. ET at the Margo Jonker Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Series History...
This will be the second meeting between MSU and Central Michigan this year and 83 overall. The Spartans trail in the all-time series 58-25 after falling to the Chippewas 8-4 at the Hoosier Classic earlier this season (March 17).

Last Time Out...
Michigan State hosted Ohio State in its Big Ten home opener last weekend and was unable to get a win over the third place team in the conference. Junior Kylene Hopkins was the top Spartan batter against the Buckeyes, going 4-9 at the plate and scoring three runs. Sophomore Sarah Bowling went 2-2 and earned three RBI off a double while freshman Kelsey Cleary scored two runs for MSU. The Spartan defense had three solid outings over the weekend, posting a .986 fielding percentage, 57 putouts and only committing one error.

Spartan Scouting Report...
Sitting atop the Spartan offense is Hopkins, who boasts a team-best .416 average and team-high 37 hits. With seven doubles and one triple, the junior owns the most extra-base hits and with 16 walks, leads the team in on base percentage (.509). Hopkins is also the best base runner for MSU, with nine stolen bases in 10 attempts. Senior Lori Padilla is currently in a five game hitting streak, has reached base for 12 games in row and holds a team-high 23 runs scored. Junior Mary Kate DiVirgilio has posted six multiple hit games this year and leads the team in RBI with 20.



Sophomore Cassee Layne pitched the most innings for Michigan State, starting 16 out of her 23 appearances. In 81.2 innings of work, Layne boasts a team-high 54 strikeouts and owns a 7.63 ERA. Freshman Carly Nielsen has seen the most action in the circle this year with 26 appearances and 11 starts. The right-hander has a 5.95 ERA, 35 Ks and ranks eighth in the nation in saves with three.

Big Ten Rankings...
As a team, Michigan State leads the league in saves with four, is tied for second in triples (5) and is fourth for stolen bases (35). Hopkins' .416 batting average ranks fourth in the Big Ten while Layne is fourth for batters struck out looking (28). Nielsen is atop the conference in saves (3) and games finished (10) and is third for most appearances (26). For games in relief, Nielsen is the top pitcher with 15 and junior Shelby Wise is second with 13. Wise is also tied for second in the Big Ten for games finished with nine.

Central Michigan Scouting Report...
The Chippewas are led at the plate by Macy Merchant, who is batting .391 and owns a team-high 34 hits. Molly Coldren has the most RBI for CMU with 25 batted in, and a team-best .712 slugging percentage. In the circle, Kara Dornbos is boasting a 2.18 ERA in 77 innings of work. The right-hander has started all of her 14 appearances this year, striking out 35 batters.

Next Up...
The Spartans will stay on the road when they head to University Park, Pa. to face Penn State. The three-game series begins with a double-header on Saturday (April 7) starting at 2 p.m. ET and wraps up on Sunday (April 8) at 1 p.m.

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