Offense powers MSU to 9-2 win over Eagles
After dropping two tight games during the weekend, the MSU softball team got just what it needed Tuesday in a confidence-boosting 9-2 win against Eastern Michigan.
The Spartans had just competed in five straight games decided by one or two runs, but by the fifth inning Tuesday, MSU had created a decidedly different feel behind sophomore pitcher Lauren Kramer’s gem and a balanced offensive attack.
MSU posted 11 hits in bouncing back from Sunday’s tough loss against Iowa, with most of the lineup chipping in during Tuesday’s win.
In the game
MSU 9, Eastern Michigan 2
At the plate Junior center fielder Jessica Bracamonte went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
In the circle Sophomore Lauren Kramer allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings of work, striking out six.
On deck The Spartans host Minnesota this weekend in a two-game series.
SOURCE: MSU Athletic communications
“We put good swings on a lot of good pitches and any time you get double-digit hits, that’s great,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said.
“Overall, I really liked the focus. A lot of times we’ve struggled with mid-week games with school and all the distractions, but I thought we really played a complete game today.”
The Spartans fell behind early when Eastern Michigan scored two runs on a second-inning error to take an early lead, but the Spartans answered with sophomore second baseman Ali Grant’s solo home run to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the inning.
MSU added to its lead when junior outfielder Jessica Bracamonte stepped to the plate with two baserunners on in the third and drove the ball over the left-center field fence to give the Spartans their first lead
After failing to score any runs in the fourth, MSU started a two-out rally in the fifth that put the game away.
Junior shortstop Lindsey Hansen recorded her Big Ten Conference-leading 12th double of the season to put one runner on with two out.
Bracamonte, the next batter, crushed a pitch left field, scoring Hansen and putting the Spartans ahead 5-2.
Kramer continued the hit parade, reaching on an infield hit that scored Hansen to make it 6-2, then sophomore catcher Brett Williams brought Kramer in with a towering fly ball that cleared the left field wall and completed a four-run inning that left the Spartans on
MSU added an insurance run in the sixth when Hansen’s RBI single scored senior first baseman Kelly Confer.
On the afternoon, the Spartans had seven players record hits and four have multihit performances.
“We had a lot of big hits and big innings so it definitely feels nice coming off a few big losses,” Bracamonte said. “Everybody from one through nine really did their job and came out ready to win today.”
Hansen led the way going 3-for-4, while Bracamonte, Confer and Grant each had two hits. Bracamonte finished with
In the circle, Kramer, gave up just four hits in seven innings and wouldn’t let anything push her off her game.
”The team played great in every aspect,” Kramer said. “As a pitcher you love it when your team scores runs for you. It takes pressure off you so you can just throw the ball.”
The win moves Kramer to 10-8 on the season, and her earned-run average dropped to 1.87 as both of the Eagles’ runs came off an error.
The Spartans (14-17) defeated Eastern Michigan for the second time this season, the other coming in a 3-0 win on March 6. MSU will host Minnesota at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday before starting a three-game road trip.