Softball Travels to Purdue
MSU enters the weekend with its best start conference start since 2006.
|Games 33-35: Michigan State (19-13, 5-0) vs. Purdue (14-20, 2-4)|
|Game 1||Friday, April 5 at 4 p.m.|
|Game 2||Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m.|
|Game 3||Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m.|
|Location||West Lafayette, Ind. | Boilermakers Softball Complex|
|Live Radio||Purdue Radio|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Purdue|
|Notes||Michigan State | Purdue|
|Social Media Updates||@msu_softball | Facebook|
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team will head to West Lafayette, Ind., to face Purdue in this weekend's series. The Spartans will face the Boilermakers at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 4, and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5.
The teams will finish the series on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. Michigan State owns a 19-13 record overall and is undefeated, 5-0, in Big Ten play. Purdue has compiled a 14-20 record overall and is 2-5 in conference games.
The Boilermakers lead the Spartans 25-18 in the all-time series. In 2012, Purdue took the series, 10-6, 8-4, 2-0. The teams split the series in 2008 and 2011 while Michigan State last won the series in 2006.
Last Time Out...
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 as junior Kelly Smith pitched the complete game, allowing only one run and five hits while notching nine strikeouts. Senior Kylene Hopkins hit a sacrifice bunt for an RBI to advance sophomore Alyssa McBride across the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, 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. Michigan State answered Penn State's run in the top of the fifth 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.
In the second game, MSU topped PSU, 7-1. 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. 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.
Spartan Scouting Report...
Senior Kylene Hopkins paces the Spartans with a .424 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big Ten. Of her 42 hits this season, two are doubles and another two are triples. The senior has notched eight RBIs and leads the team with 23 runs. With 177 hits tallied in her career, she ties for 15th in the MSU record book.
Junior Sarah Bowling leads the Spartans in RBIs with 26, while senior Jayme O'Bryant is close behind with 25. Bowling also leads the team with five home runs. O'Bryant has tallied a team high of eight doubles and three home runs on the season.
Leading MSU in the circle are junior Kelly Smith and freshman Dani Goranson. In 136 2/3 innings pitched, Smith has compiled a 14-7 record, 2.00 ERA and 154 strikeouts. Goranson has pitched 66 1/3 innings and posted a 2.53 ERA with a 3-5 record.
Spartans in the Rankings...
As a team, Michigan State is sixth in the conference in batting (.286) and fifth in the conference for pitching (2.51 ERA). The Spartans also tie for fourth in the conference for triples (6) and take first in sacrifice bunts (33).
Senior Kylene Hopkins sits at seventh in the conference for individual batting at .426. Hopkins sits at fourth in on-base percentage (.513) and ties for eighth in hits (42). Sophomore McKinzie Freimuth is second in the Big Ten with 11 sacrifice bunts.
Junior Kelly Smith is third in the Big Ten in innings pitched (136 2/3) and eighth in ERA (2.00). Smith's 154 batters struck out is third highest in the Big Ten, while her 50 batters struck out looking earns her the top spot.
A Sweeping Start...
The last time the Spartans earned a Big Ten sweep was April 3-4, 2010 against Minnesota in a two-game series, 2-1, 7-6.
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.
Big Ten Pitcher of the Week...
Junior Kelly Smith was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday. The junior transferred to Michigan State this season from McLennan Community College.
In the series against Indiana, Smith pitched 17 innings for the Spartans and allowed only one earned run, two runs total. She tallied 20 strikeouts over the weekend and Indiana saw only eight hits when she was on the mound. Smith owned a 0.41 ERA for the weekend.
Purdue Scouting Report...
The Boilermakers are 14-20 this season and are 2-4 in the Big Ten. On Wednesday, Purdue split its doubleheader with IUPUI falling in the first game, 3-2, and then rebounding to down the Jaguars, 18-2. Purdue picked up two wins against Ohio State last weekend, 4-2, 8-7 (9), before falling in the final game of the series, 5-3 (10).
On the offensive side, Andie Varsho leads the Boilermakers with 24 RBIs and a .436 batting average. Danielle Fletcher has tallied 22 RBIs as well as a team high of five home runs and seven doubles.
On the mound, Lily Fecho owns a 3.12 ERA in 96 1/3 innings pitched. Fecho has marked a 5-11 record on the season and tallied 67 strikeouts. Leading with a 1.66 ERA is Alex Whittemore with 25 1/3 innings pitched and a 2-0 record.
Boilermakers in the Rankings...
The Boilermakers sit at sixth in the Big Ten for walks (97), hits (241), and triples (5). Purdue leads the Big Ten in stolen bases (72) and sits at fourth for sacrifice bunts (29).
Andie Varsho holds the sixth spot in the Big Ten with a batting average of .436 and is second in the Big Ten for hits with 48. At 10th in the Big Ten for runs scored is Ashley Burkhardt with 28 on the season.
Purdue has three players ranked in the Big Ten for stolen bases, Varsho ties for first (17), Burkhardt ties for fourth (14), and Lindsey Rains ties for fifth (13).
Over the Fence...
MSU softball notched three home runs in the series against Indiana and has 10 on the season. Senior Jayme O'Bryant and junior Sarah Bowling both hit one on Saturday against Indiana. O'Bryant tallied another on Sunday to tie up the score in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Bowling notched another home run in the second game against Penn State to give MSU an additional two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Others earning home runs this season are sophomores Ellie Stoffer and Stephanie Sanders.
Success Striking Out...
MSU pitcher, junior Kelly Smith, entered the rankings for single-season pitching strikeouts over the weekend. She has registered 154 this season to sit at eighth in the record books, 50 of which are struck out looking.
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 571 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.
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 MSU softball squad will return to East Lansing to face in-state opponents, Central Michigan and Western Michigan in mid-week games. The Spartans will face the Chippewas at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, and match up against the Broncos at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10.