MSU blanks Badgers in stadium opener
The MSU softball team opened the brand new Secchia Stadium with an 8-0 win Saturday against Wisconsin to grab the important first game for the record books and move to 19-13 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten.
Rain and snow prevented the Spartans from going for the sweep Sunday, but Saturday they poured in eight runs to defeat the Badgers in five innings and put on an impressive game for the home fans.
Freshman pitcher Cassee Layne pitched five shutout innings, giving up one run, and MSU demonstrated timely hitting by scoring six runs with two outs in the fifth inning.
“We’ve been starting a little slow,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said. “We were dominating, but yet we weren’t really on the scoreboard. It was critical to score first and then I thought we got better as the game went on, which was nice.”
The 1,200-seat stadium features a new pressbox and backstops among other features.
MSU scored six runs in the final inning, thanks to timely hitting. With two on and two out, junior second baseman Ali Grant laced a two-run single to right field, and the next three batters got on base to increase the Spartans’ lead to 5-0.
Senior outfielder Jessica Bracamonte drove in two runs with a single and senior shortstop Lindsey Hansen singled in the game-winning run to lift the Spartans. Layne only surrendered a single in the third inning and got several groundballs and struck out three to earn the win.
Hansen, Grant and junior catcher Brett Williams each had two-hit games, and Williams drove in two runs. Williams brought in the two runs in the third inning when her single scored Bracamonte and Hansen.
“We played really good defense,” Layne said. “We made a few baserunning errors early on, but I feel like we came back from it.”
MSU continues play with a doubleheader Wednesday against Penn State, with the first game to start at 3 p.m. at Secchia Stadium.
If the Spartans come through with the same clutch hitting, they’ll have a chance to pull above .500 in the Big Ten.
“We really worked on capitalizing this week, and I think we did that when we got people on the basepaths,” Williams said. “It’s good for momentum, good for team karma, good for everything going forward.”