Joseph: Weather's going to be an issue
Mother Nature won’t be very nice to the MSU softball team this weekend in its home opener, but that doesn’t bother the players. A chilly, rainy and snowy weekend is forecast throughout the team’s Friday and Saturday series against Minnesota and double-header against Wisconsin on Sunday.
“We just came from playing in the snow, and there’s nothing we haven’t played in,” said senior infielder and catcher Caitlin Mahoney. “It won’t make a difference.”
However, MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph disagrees.
“The weather’s going to be an issue, and we have to battle it,” Joseph said.
The team practiced outdoors for the first time this season Wednesday, and Mahoney said it’ll be nice to get back to her old stomping grounds at home.
“We’re excited to be back on our own field,” she said. “We go from turf during the week to clay the other weekend, we’re ready to be back on our own field — a place where we’re familiar.”
And while playing at home could serve a role in the team’s success this weekend, Joseph added that it’s important for the Spartans to get a quick upper hand against the opposition.
“It’s so important to get off to a good start,” Joseph said. “We just have got to play the game we’re capable of playing. We’ve got to be consistent in three categories: pitching, defense and hitting. I think we’re good, we’ve got a lot of talent. We’ve just got to put it together.
“Each team has a little bit of different strengths and weaknesses, but by and large, none of us are strong on pitching. They don’t have it, we don’t have it. We’ve got to prepare pitching-wise, play good defensively and capitalize on offense.”
That means scoring first, scoring in multiple innings and not walking anyone, she added.
For Mahoney, the game at 4 p.m. Friday against Minnesota serves as her last home opener.
“I want to make it memorable,” Mahoney said. “I want to set the tone for the rest of the Big Ten season. We’ve got to play strong.”