Softball swept in 3 games at Penn State
The MSU softball team took three losses this weekend in its three-game series against Penn State in University Park, Penn.
The Spartans (11-26 overall, 0-9 Big Ten) just broke a seven-game losing streak with a win against Central Michigan last week before their losses this weekend.
The team first fell to Penn State (11-22, 3-6) in its doubleheader on Saturday with losses of 4-3 and 11-5, respectively. Sunday’s game ended in extra innings with a 7-5 loss when MSU gave up an even score for a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Pitching was the Spartans’ biggest downfall in each game of the weekend, and head coach Jacquie Joseph echoed similar thoughts, saying the team played well, but the pitchers needed work.
“We need to not shoot ourselves in the foot on the mound,” Joseph said.
Although MSU started sophomore pitcher Cassee Layne in the first and final games, she only lasted about three innings in each. Freshman Carly Nielson pitched a majority of the weekend’s games. Junior Shelby Wise pitched in both the first and second games, and senior Rebecca Rogers pitched in the second game.
Layne, typically a starter for the team, frequently has been replaced by Nielson this season – though Layne pitched her second full game this past week.
Layne has a total ERA of 4.35 and a 19-24 record, and Nielson has a total ERA of 5.64 and a 3-8 record.
Penn State outfielder Cassidy Bell was a major concern for the team going into the game but not after.
“She hurt us a little bit, but all in all … she wasn’t as big of an issue as our own pitching,” Joseph said.