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Softball Prepares for Series at Minnesota

Senior Kylene Hopkins paces the Spartans with a .421 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big Ten.

April 18, 2013

Games 40-42: Michigan State (21-18, 7-4) vs. Minnesota (26-15, 9-5)
 Game 1 Location – Minneapolis, Minn. | Jane Sage Cowles Stadium
 Game 1 Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET
 Game 2 Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. ET
 Game 3 Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. ET
 Live Video Spartan All-Access
 Statistics Michigan State | Minnesota
 Notes Michigan State |
 Social Media Updates @msu_softball | Facebook

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State softball team will play Minnesota in this weekend’s series in Minneapolis, Minn.  The two teams will face off at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 19, and continue play on Saturday, April 20, at 3 p.m. ET.  The Spartans and Golden Gophers will conclude the series at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21. The Spartans own a 21-18 record on the season and a record of 7-4 in conference games.  Games will be available to watch with purchase of all-access membership on

Series History...
Minnesota leads the series with Michigan State 53-35.  The Spartans last picked up a win as they downed Minnesota on the road in five innings, 12-2, in 2011.  Last season, the two teams did not face off.

Last Time Out...
The Spartans fell to Notre Dame in a midweek matchup, 2-0.  Last weekend, MSU fell to Michigan in the series, 2-21, (5), 2-11 (6), 7-8 (8).

Against Notre Dame, junior Kelly Smith notched six strikeouts and allowed two runs, both earned, before freshman Dani Goranson took over the circle for the last 1 1/3 innings.  After two scoreless innings, the Fighting Irish scored the first run with a home run to right field.  Notre Dame posted its second run in the top of the sixth inning.  Sophomore Alyssa McBride, sophomore McKinzie Freimuth and senior Kylene Hopkins went 1-for-3 to lead the Spartan offense 

Spartan Scouting Report...
Senior Kylene Hopkins paces the Spartans with a .421 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big Ten.  Of her 51 hits this season, five are doubles and another two are triples.  The senior has notched 10 RBIs and leads the team with 26 runs.  With 186 hits tallied in her career, she is 11th in the MSU record book.

Junior Sarah Bowling leads the Spartans in RBIs with 30, while senior Jayme O’Bryant is close behind with 26.  Bowling also leads the team with six 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 16-10 record and a 2.48 ERA in 166 2/3 innings pitched and 180 strikeouts, to sit at third in the Big Ten.  Smith has pitched 18 complete games and has notched six shutouts in the circle.  Freshman Dani Goranson owns a 3.42 ERA in 77 2/3 innings pitched along with five complete games.

Spartans in the Rankings...
As a team, Michigan State is tied for seventh in the conference in batting (.274) and eighth in the conference for pitching (3.35 ERA).  The Spartans are third in the conference for triples (7).

Senior Kylene Hopkins sits at seventh in the conference for individual batting at .421. Hopkins sits at sixth in on-base percentage (.500) and ties for seventh in hits (51).

Junior Kelly Smith is second in the Big Ten in innings pitched (166 2/3) and ninth in the ERA (2.48).  Smith’s 180 batters struck out is third highest in the Big Ten, while her 59 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.

Shutout Sensation…
The Spartans have tallied seven shutouts on the season; three are 1-0 victories.  Junior Kelly Smith has notched six of the shutouts.

Minnesota Scouting Report…
The Golden Gophers are 26-15 on the season and 9-5 in the Big Ten.  Last weekend, Minnesota swept Illinois, 5-1, 2-0, and 9-3.  The Golden Gophers then fell, 3-2 and 4-0, in their midweek doubleheader to Nebraska.

Leading the Minnesota offense is Kaitlyn Richardson with a .477 batting average and a team-high of 32 RBIs.  Richardson has also tallied nine home runs this season.  Tyler Walker has compiled a .406 batting average along with 22 RBIs and eight home runs.

In the circle, Sara Moulton has registered a 1.61 ERA and a 22-9 record in 191 2/3 innings pitched.  In 46 1/3 innings pitched on the mound, Nikki Anderson is second in pitching at Minnesota with a 4.53 ERA and 4-3 record for the Golden Gophers.

Golden Gophers in the Rankings…
Minnesota sits at fourth in the Big Ten for team pitching, averaging a 2.47 ERA, and holds the top spot for fielding with a .969 fielding percentage.  The Golden Gophers have tallied eight triples this season for the fourth spot in the conference and their 154 RBIs take seventh.

Kaitlyn Richardson leads the Big Ten batting average (.477), while Tyler Walker sits at 10th (.406). 

Sara Moulton is second in the conference for ERA (1.61) and first for batters struck out (214).

Over the Fence…
MSU softball notched three home runs in the series against Indiana and has 11 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 as well as one during the third game against Michigan.  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 strikeouts.  She has registered 180 this season to sit at fourth in the record books, 59 of which are struck out looking.

700 Wins…
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.

Next up...
The Green and White will head to Ohio State for a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 24, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The games will broadcast live on Big Ten Network.



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