Spartan softball splits series, MSU gymnasts fall short vs. Auburn
The MSU softball team finished the weekend just the way they started it with a one-run loss to Elon on Sunday in the Stetson Tournament. MSU (12-12), which went 2-2 on the weekend, also fell to Elon 5-4 in nine innings on Friday.
After a scoreless first inning in Sunday’s finale, Elon scored in the top of the second on a solo home run to take the early lead. The Spartans bounced back in the bottom half of the inning as they put up five runs, but the Phoenix answered with four of their own in the third inning to bring the game to a 5-5 tie.
The Spartans came back with another run as freshman first baseman Heidi Purtzer drove in senior third baseman Traci Nicosia with a fielder’s choice to reclaim the lead in the fourth.
MSU remained ahead until Elon knocked in two runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead, and hung on for the 7-6 win.
Junior outfielder Kara Weigle and senior designated player Jessica LeFevre each had two hits, while Purtzer had one hit and two RBIs.
In between the two losses to Elon, the Spartans picked up a 2-0 win over host Stetson on Saturday and a 6-2 victory over Bowling Green on Sunday morning.
Junior second baseman Gina Mondo helped the Spartans get off to a hot start in the win over Bowling Green, belting a three-run homer in the top of the first to give MSU a 3-0 lead. Mondo struck again in the fourth, as she hit another home run over the left-field fence to add to the lead.
Mondo led the Spartans with two hits and four RBIs, while senior outfielder Nikki Nicosia also had three hits. Junior Megan Hair, sophomore Kelly Confer and senior Lesley Noel combined to hold the Falcons to six hits.
The Spartans head to Oxford, Ohio next weekend to take part in the Best Western Miami Invitational. Their first game is at noon Saturday against Penn State.
The MSU baseball team took two games of a three-game set against Quinnipiac this weekend to improve to 7-8 on the season.
After falling to the Bobcats 15-10 in Friday’s slugfest, the Spartans took the final two games, winning 4-2 on Saturday and 6-4 on Sunday.
The Spartans were up 3-0 on Sunday and had held Quinnipiac to three hits heading into top of the eighth, but the final two innings proved to be the key to the game. Freshman pitcher A.J. Achter came in to relieve junior Mark Sorensen, who allowed three hits and struck out six in seven innings of work, and allowed four runs — all unearned — on two hits and two MSU errors as the Bobcats took a 4-3 lead.
The Spartans came fighting back in the bottom half of the inning, putting up three runs of their own — two of which came off the bat of senior Dennis Jones’ two-out triple to take the lead for good.
Freshman shortstop Jonathan Roof led the Spartans going 3-for-4 with one RBI, while junior catcher Kyle Day had two hits and an RBI.
In Saturday’s 4-2 win, the Spartans scored two runs apiece in the first and third innings and senior pitcher Chris Cullen allowed two runs in six innings to get the win.
The Spartans make their 2008 home opener this weekend with a three-game series against Oakland. Their first game is at 3:05 p.m. Friday at Kobs Field.
The MSU gymnastics team came up short in a battle of top ranked teams, falling to No. 12 Auburn on Friday 195.325-194.050.
“Sure the scoring wasn’t on our side at Auburn and we didn’t get the team score we would have liked but that doesn’t affect our job,” senior gymnast Rhiannon Banda-Scott said.
“Our routines are still the same, the way we compete them is the same and our potential is just as strong as it ever was.”
In a losing effort, sophomore Rochelle Robinson had one of her best performances for the No. 14 Spartans. Robinson won or earned a share of first place in three events: vault, bars and floor, and also finished second in the all-around. The three weekend wins now make it 12 total wins on the season for Robinson.
Sophomore Nicole Curler and freshman Kelsey Morley also put on solid performances, as Curler tied for third on the bars and Morley finished third on the beam.
The Spartan gymnasts finish up the regular season at 8 p.m. Friday at No. 11 Arkansas.