Spartans sweep doubleheader with Titans
In Tuesday’s home opener, the MSU softball team waited until the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game on a walk-off home run by sophomore shortstop Lindsey Hansen.
The Spartans (13-15 overall) followed that performance by winning both games in a doubleheader against Detroit Mercy, 3-2 and 8-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Old College Field.
In the three games in the past two days, the Spartans have racked up six home runs — led by Hansen who had three for a team-high total of nine so far this season.
“That’s been our strength,” MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph said of her team’s ability to hit the long ball.
“I think we are an explosive team and the kids really attack the ball well.”
In the opening game of the series, senior catcher Kara Weigle and Hansen both recorded home runs for the second straight day.
With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Weigle drilled a home run over the fence in center field.
“My approach to the plate has been really simple,” Weigle said. “I just see it and try to hit it.”
Then in the sixth inning, Hansen followed suit and hit a home run of her own to give the Spartans the 3-1 lead.
Detroit was able to score a run in the seventh inning, but the rally came up short when the Spartans brought in freshman pitcher Lauren Kramer who closed out the win for MSU.
Kramer continued on the mound for the Spartans in the second game of the doubleheader and threw her first career complete game — allowing four hits and recording four strikeouts.
“Kramer did a really nice job,” Joseph said. “She maintained her focus and this should really help her confidence.”
Hansen, who went 3-for-3 in the nightcap, got the Spartans on the board early with her second home run of the day in the second inning.
“I’ve been feeling really good and I’m seeing the ball well,” Hansen said. “It’s what I have to do for the team. I like to pump them up anyway I can.”
Back-to-back three run innings in the fifth and sixth put the game out of reach for Detroit.
Although the Spartans were able to easily win the second game, Joseph said her team needs to play better as they prepare for the rest of its Big Ten schedule.
“The second game was sloppy,” Joseph said. “We made several base running errors that we have to clean up. But at the end of the day we found a way to hit our way to winning.”
Joseph thinks her team’s three-game winning streak will help its confidence when they travel to Illinois this weekend for a two game series in Champaign, Ill.
“We now turn our focus to Illinois and hopefully we can build on these games,” Joseph said. “But we are feeling good.”