May 6, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team (25-23, 4-10 Big Ten) hits the road for its final two-game series of the season when it travels to Ohio State this weekend (May 7-8). Game one on Saturday, May 7 is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be streamed live at BigTenNetwork.com. Game two is slated for a 12 p.m. start on Sunday, May 8 and will be carried live by the Big Ten Network. Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and Heather Lyke (color analyst) will provide coverage on Sunday.
MSU trails in the series to the Buckeyes, 57-36. The Spartans lost in both contests against OSU last year, 12-3 (6) and 7-3, in East Lansing. MSU has dropped its last four against Ohio State
Last Time Out...
MSU completed the season sweep over Eastern Michigan on Thursday, May 5 with a 9-2 win over the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Secchia Stadium. Senior Heidi Purtzer knocked in the game winning run in the fourth as she went 2-for-2 on the day with four RBIs. On Wednesday against Western Michigan, senior Lindsey Hansen blasted her 19th homer of the season in the third inning to give the Spartans a 4-0 win over in-state foe Western Michigan at Secchia Stadium.
Spartan Scouting Report...
Senior Lindsey Hansen leads the Spartans with her .427 batting average and her Big Ten leading 19 home runs. Hansen currently leads the conference with 132 total bases as well as assists with 130. Hansen also currently leads the team on the base path with 21 stolen bases. Hansen also leads the team in slugging (.923) and extra base hits (29).
Leading the Spartans on the rubber is freshman Cassee Layne. Layne enters the weekend with a team-high 164.1 innings of work. Layne is 13-14 on the year and boasts an ERA of 3.11. Layne has held the opposition to a .260 batting average on the year. On the year, Layne has 109 strikeouts.
Buckeyes Scouting Report...
Ohio State enters the week with a record of 13-32. Alicia Herron leads the Buckeyes at the plate with a .357 batting average. Herron is also the top slugger for OSU with her .643 slugging percentage and seven home runs and 25 RBIs.
Karisa Medrano is the top pitcher for the Buckeyes with her 4.75 ERA and 7-17 record. Whitney has tallied 112.0 innings of work and has struck out 88 batters, while limiting the opponent to a .262 batting average.
MSU returns home to host Purdue on Wednesday, May 11th for a doubleheader slated to begin at 2 p.m. Wednesday's contest, which was originally scheduled to be played on April 20, marks the first three of four straight games at home for the Spartans to close out the 2011 season. Both games will have free audio streamed for live at SpartanSportsNetwork.com
Freshman Cassee Layne has been a stable force for the Spartans within the circle this season. Layne impressed in her MSU debut as she became the first Spartan to pitch a complete game shutout since 1982. Layne pitched the Green and White to a 2-0 win over Boston College during the first game of the season.
Player of the Week...
Senior Lindsey Hansen earned conference Player of the Week status on March 7 after hitting a .750 clip and knocking in 11 runs to help Michigan State to a 3-1 record the week of Feb. 28-March 6. The senior shortstop had three multi-hit and multi-RBI games in finishing 9 for 12 from the plate for the week, including a 4-for-4 performance against Seton Hall in which she hit her 31st career home run. Hansen drove in four against the Pirates after driving in three each against Providence and South Carolina, also stealing two bases. She scored seven runs and finished with an OPS of 2.369 in earning her second career weekly honor.
Freshman Cassee Layne earned Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 21 following her performance at the Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn Tournament. Layne took home honors after throwing two complete game shutouts for Michigan State on the weekend. Allowing just one earned run in 15.1 innings pitched, Layne finished the week with a 0.46 ERA and 12 strikeouts, walking just four in the process. She pitched seven shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Villanova and five scoreless in a 9-0 shortened game against Saint Louis.
Through 48 games this season, MSU currently ranks 35th in the nation in slugging percentage with an a .468 team mark, and is also ranked 32nd in the nation in home runs with a 1.02 homers a game average. The Spartans are currently tops in the Big Ten in homers with 52 on the year.
Big Ten Rankings...
Individually, senior Lindsey Hansen is tops in the conference in home runs (19), total bases (132) and assists (130). Hansen also tied for first in sacrifice flies with three. Hansen ranks second in runs scored (51) and slugging percentage (.923). Junior Brett Williams also ranks among the conference leaders in several categories. Williams is third in home runs (13), total bases (101) and slugging percentage (.748).
Home Run Queen...
Senior Lindsey Hansen became MSU's all-time home run leader when she blasted her 32nd career home run against Florida Atlantic on Sunday, March 13 in Boca Raton, Fla. On Wednesday, April 13, Hansen solidified herself as MSU's home run queen as she recorded her 14th homer of the season, becoming the school's single-season home run leader. Hansen currently has 41 homers in her career and 19 on the season. Hansen's season total currently ranks her first in the conference and 23rd in the nation. Hansen's 2010 total ranks fifth (11) in program history while her 2009 total is tied for sixth (10). Against Central Michigan on Tuesday, April 26, Hansen tied MSU's single-game home run record with her two blasts against the Chippewas.
Secchia Stadium Dedication...
The Spartans will dedicate the new Secchia Stadium at home against Michigan on Saturday, May 14. The dedication ceremony with the Secchia family and special guests is scheduled to begin at 11:55 a.m. on the infield.
Construction crews took to the field at the conclusion of the 2010 season to complete the renovation of Old College Field. The new 1,100-seat stadium features 120 chair back seats, a new press box, backstops, and handicap-accessible seating with brick accents to architecturally match the façade of historic Jenison Field House and the indoor hitting and pitching facility. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, home and visiting dugouts were constructed in-ground and feature an added restroom at the end of each dugout. In recognition of a $1 million gift from alumnus Ambassador Peter F. Secchia, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Sept. 17 to approve the naming of the new softball facility Secchia Stadium. Secchia's donation is the largest cash (outright) gift received by an MSU women's intercollegiate sports program.
Softball To Air On SpartanSportsNetwork.com...
Selected Michigan State softball games will be broadcast for free this spring on spartansportsnetwork.com.
In addition to the free audio stream on spartansportsnetwork.com, the games will also be available on the free Spartan Sports Network Mobile App. In the fall, Spartan Sports Network teamed up with JacAPPS to have the app available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The application features live streaming of Michigan State broadcasts, along with coaches shows, feature programming, highlights, archives, social connectivity and more.
The app is free and available for download from the iTunes store and Android Marketplace. Simply search Spartan Sports Network.
To listen to the games on spartansportsnetwork.com, simply click on the appropriate game link on the main page in the "Spartan Sports 24/7 Box", located on the right-side of the page, or click on the "Spartan Sports 24/7" link at the top of the site.
TENTATIVE BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 23 vs. Indiana
Sunday, April 24 vs. Indiana
Wednesday, May 11 vs. Purdue (DH)
Friday, May 13 vs. Michigan
The Spartans On Television...
The Spartans will have three games broadcast by the network during the 2011 season. In addition, MSU will have five contests streamed live on the BigTenNetwork.com.
TENTATIVE BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Sunday, April 10 at Iowa (BigTenNetwork.com)
Wednesday, April 13 at Northwestern (BigTenNetwork.com)
Wednesday, April 13 at Northwestern (BigTenNetwork.com)
Sunday, May 1 at Minnesota (Big Ten Network)
Saturday, May 7 at Ohio State (BigTenNetwork.com)
Sunday, May 8 at Ohio State (Big Ten Network)
Friday, May 13 at Michigan (BigTenNetwork.com)
Saturday, May 14 vs. Michigan (Big Ten Network)