Softball Faces No. 12 Michigan in Weekend Series
Second-place Michigan State (21-14, 7-1) will take on first-place and 12th-ranked Michigan (32-7, 9-0) in a key Big Ten series this weekend.
April 11, 2013
|Games 36-38: Michigan State (21-14, 7-1) vs. Michigan (32-7, 9-0)|
|Game 1||Friday, April 12 at 4 p.m. - Ann Arbor, Mich. | Wilpon Complex|
|Game 2||Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. - East Lansing, Mich. | Secchia Stadium|
|Game 3||Sunday, April 14 at 1 p.m. - East Lansing, Mich. | Secchia Stadium|
|TV||Friday: BTN | Saturday/Sunday: BTN.com (for purchase)|
|Live Radio||Spartan Sports Network|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Michigan|
|Notes||Michigan State | Michigan|
|Social Media Updates||@msu_softball | Facebook|
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team will face No. 12 Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday, April 12, at 4 p.m. The two teams will then finish the series in East Lansing on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, at 1 p.m. Michigan State owns a 21-14 record overall and is 7-1 in Big Ten play. Michigan has a 32-7 record on the season and is undefeated, 9-0, in conference games.
Michigan leads the series with Michigan State 74-27. Michigan shut out MSU last season, 8-0, 2-0, 5-0. The Spartans picked up their last victory against the Wolverines in 2009 as they edged their rivals 2-1 at home in the final game of the season.
Last Time Out...
Michigan State softball picked up two wins after taking the series against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., last weekend.
In game one, junior Kelly Smith tallied seven strikeouts and only allowed two runs as the Spartans edged the Boilermakers, 3-2. The Spartans scored all three runs in the top of the first inning. Senior Kylene Hopkins hit a single to left field to advance sophomore Alyssa McBride across the plate for the first run. Next at bat, sophomore Ellie Stoffer notched two RBIs with a single up the middle.
On Saturday, Purdue defeated Michigan State as freshman Dani Goranson spent 3 1/3 innings in the circle and tallied four strikeouts. MSU scored both of its runs in the top of the sixth in an attempt to narrow the deficit. McBride walked and proceeded to score after sophomore McKinzie Freimuth's triple down the right-field line. With a fielding error by Purdue's second baseman, Hopkins reached first and Freimuth crossed the plate for a Spartan run.
MSU softball concluded the series with a 1-0 shutout win on Sunday against the Boilermakers. Smith was in the circle for the Spartans and improved her record to 16-7 after allowing only three hits. The only run was scored in the top of the second. Senior Jayme O'Bryant reached second with a hard hit that went to left centerfield. Next, Stoffer advanced to first on an error by Purdue's first baseman from a sacrifice hit. O'Bryant was sent home as Stoffer was out at second.
Spartan Scouting Report...
Senior Kylene Hopkins paces the Spartans with a .426 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big Ten. Of her 46 hits this season, two are doubles and another two are triples. The senior has notched nine RBIs and leads the team with 24 runs. With 181 hits tallied in her career, she ties for 13th 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 nine doubles and three home runs on the season.
Leading MSU on the mound is junior Kelly Smith with a 16-7 record and a 1.90 ERA in 150 2/3 innings pitched and 168 strikeouts, to sit at third in the Big Ten. Smith has pitched 17 complete games and has notched six shutouts in the circle, which is tied for second in the Big Ten. Freshman Dani Goranson owns a 2.71 ERA in 69 2/3 innings pitched along with four complete games.
Spartans in the Rankings...
As a team, Michigan State is sixth in the conference in batting (.281) and fifth in the conference for pitching (2.53 ERA). The Spartans also tie for third in the conference for triples (7) and take first in sacrifice bunts (37).
Senior Kylene Hopkins sits at sixth in the conference for individual batting at .426. Hopkins sits at fourth in on-base percentage (.512) and ties for sixth in hits (46). Sophomore McKinzie Freimuth is second in the Big Ten with 12 sacrifice bunts.
Junior Kelly Smith is third in the Big Ten in innings pitched (150 2/3) and sixth in ERA (1.90). Smith's 168 batters struck out is third highest in the Big Ten, while her 55 batters struck out looking earns her the top spot.
A Sweeping Start...
Michigan State swept Indiana, 5-0, 10-7, 2-1, and Penn State, 4-1, 7-1, to start its Big Ten season.
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 April 1. 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.
The Spartans have tallied seven shutouts on the season; three are 1-0 victories. Junior Kelly Smith has notched six of the shoutouts.
Michigan Scouting Report...
The Wolverines are 32-7 this season and are 9-0 in the Big Ten. On Tuesday, UM shut out Western Michigan, 8-0, and its matchup for Wednesday facing Eastern Michigan was cancelled due to weather. Last weekend, Michigan swept its series against Ohio State, 5-1, 11-0, 17-5.
Jaclyn Crummey leads the Michigan offense registering a batting average of .475. Sierra Romero has notched a .411 batting average and paces the team with 47 RBI and 15 home runs on the season.
Splitting time on the mound are Haylie Wagner and Sara Driesenga. Wagner has a 1.18 ERA in her 71 1/3 innings pitched along with an 11-1 record. Driesenga owns a 20-5 record and has tallied a 1.67 ERA in 150 innings pitched.
Wolverines in the Rankings...
The Wolverines rank first in the Big Ten with a team batting average of .341. In the conference, they sit at third for pitching with an average of 1.92 ERA.
Sierra Romero takes eighth for batting average in the Big Ten (.411), second in home runs (15), first in total bases (108), ties for first with RBIs (46), and holds the top spot for runs scored (42). Amy Knapp ties for third with three triples.
On the pitching staff, Sara Driesenga holds the third spot for conference ERA with a 1.67.
Television and Radio...
This weekend's series between Michigan State and Michigan will be broadcast live on Spartan Sports Network. Friday's matchup in Ann Arbor will be live on the Big Ten Network at 4 p.m. Games in East Lansing on Saturday and Sunday will air on Big Ten Digital Network and are available to watch with membership.
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. She has registered 168 this season to sit at sixth in the record books, 55 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 573 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 Spartans will play a pair of midweek games this coming week at Secchia Stadium. MSU will face Notre Dame at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and then Toledo at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17. The Spartans will face Minnesota in their next series on the road April 19-21.