MSU softball overcomes Eagles, 4-2
For four innings, things looked grim for the MSU softball team during its game on Wednesday. Eastern Michigan tallied two runs early in the first and second innings, stealing momentum from the Spartans.
Then senior outfielder Nikki Nicosia stepped up to bat. Nicosia slugged the ball nearly 220 feet for a two-run homer sending teammate senior outfielder Jessica LeFevre home — tying the game 2-2. It was Nicosia’s fourth home run in three games.
Nicosia’s deep ball would spur a comeback victory for the Spartans, winning 4-2.
“Nikki’s doing what Nikki needs to do,” MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph said. “I’m thrilled for her, I’m thrilled for us. Nikki really needs to play well for us to win. Nikki is our Drew Neitzel.”
It’s all about changing the mental approach, Nicosia said.
“I’ve been going up there knowing I’ve got to get the job done,” she said. “I’m going up there with an aggressive approach. I attack anything close that I can put into play.
“It’s a lot easier when you don’t look at the scoreboard.”
The momentum pendulum continued to swing in the Spartans’ favor in the sixth inning as Eastern Michigan bobbled the ball in the infield, giving junior second baseman Gina Mondo the opportunity to steal third base and send senior pitcher Abby Lincoln home — giving MSU a one-run lead for a 3-2 score.
“She missed the ball, and I was halfway down the line at that point,” Lincoln said. “We work on it enough, so I just told myself in that moment that I just need to stay calm. We work on this in practice every day. I could see the ball well enough to get it done.”
Then freshman outfielder Jessica Bracamonte grounded out at her at bat; however, Mondo scored, nailing the coffin shut on the Eagles for the victory.
“It’s a great win for us to come from behind,” Joseph said. “Their pitcher did an excellent job for five innings. ? Once we dialed it in, we were able to create some things offensively.”
The win is just in time to build and maintain the team’s confidence heading into Big Ten play against Ohio State in Columbus this weekend, Lincoln said.
“We’ve struggled from behind with that,” she said. “We’re the type of team that keeps the momentum coming with us. It just shows you can compete with anybody.”