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Softball Readies for Ohio State

The Spartans have tallied seven shutouts on the season; three are 1-0 victories.

April 23, 2013

Games 40-41: Michigan State (21-18, 7-4) vs. Ohio State (27-17, 6-9)
 Location Columbus, Ohio | Buckeye Field
 Game 1 Wednesday, April 24 at 4 p.m.
 Game 2 Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m.
 Live TV Big Ten Network
 Statistics Michigan State | Ohio State
 Notes Michigan State | Ohio State
 Social Media Updates @msu_softball | Facebook

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team will face Ohio State on the road in a midweek doubleheader.  The Spartans and Buckeyes will play on Wednesday, April 24, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  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 on the Big Ten Network.

Series History...
Ohio State leads the series 61-37 with Michigan State.  The Buckeyes swept MSU last season, 9-4, 14-1, 6-4.  In 2011, the Spartans took game one of the doubleheader, 12-2, in five innings.

Last Time Out...
The series against Minnesota scheduled for last weekend was cancelled due to inclement weather; it will likely not be made up.  The Spartans fell to Notre Dame in a midweek matchup last week, 2-0. In its last conference games, MSU fell to Michigan in the series, 21-2, (5), 11-2 (6), 8-7 (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 ninth the conference in batting (.274) and seventh in the conference for pitching (3.35 ERA). 

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

Junior Kelly Smith is tied for fourth 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 second 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.

Ohio State Scouting Report...
Ohio State is 27-17 on the season overall and 6-9 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes are eighth in the conference.

Leading Ohio State in batting average is Cammi Prantl (.365).  Taylor Watkins follows Prantl with a batting average of .361.  Leesa Gresham owns a team-high of 34 RBIs, nine home runs and 13 triples.

In the circle for the Buckeyes is Alex DiDomenico with a 2.61 ERA.  DiDomenico owns a 12-7 record in 126 innings pitched and has notched 113 strikeouts. 

Buckeyes in the Rankings...
Ohio State sits at second for runs scored (244) and hits (362).  The Buckeyes tie for second in RBIs with 223 and are first in doubles with 66.  Ohio State is fifth in batting average at .294.

Taylor Watkins is tied for sixth in the conference in runs scored (39) and Leesa Gresham ties for third in doubles (13).

Alex DiDomenico is 10th in the conference with an ERA of 2.61 and seventh in batters struck out with 113.

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...
Kelly Smith has 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 finish off conference home competition April 26-April 28 at Secchia Stadium.  The Spartans will face Illinois on Friday, April 26, at 5 p.m. to begin the series.  On Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, the games will begin at 1 p.m.



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