After traveling to Fort Myers, Fla., for five games in the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament, the MSU softball team (8-6 Overall) is returning to East Lansing with three more wins notched under its belt.
MSU picked up wins in its first three games: 12-0 and 8-0 against St. Bonaventure and 3-1 against Albany. Through those games, MSU allowed its opponent only seven total hits, while racking up 24.
Head coach Jacquie Joseph said scoring first against St. Bonaventure gave MSU momentum and was the key in its first two wins.
The same couldn’t be said for the Spartans game against Albany, in which they fell behind by one run in the fourth inning but still managed to pull out the win.
“It’s nice to see the players able to win differently in different styles of game because you never know what the game’s going to present,”Joseph said. “So we’ve been able to adapt and adjust but it all starts in the circle.”
Junior Kelly Smith pitched in 17.2 innings throughout the tournament, and freshman Dani Goranson pitched 12.1. Joseph said Goranson “grew up a lot” during the tournament.
“We’re doing the things we need to do to be successful,” Joseph said.
“We’re getting good pitching, we’re playing pretty good team offense, we’re playing
good enough defensively to win.”
Sunday afternoon, MSU kicked off the final day of the tournament with a 5-1 loss to Villanova despite getting the first run of the game in the first inning. Villanova scored three runs in the sixth inning, pulling the game out of MSU’s reach.
The Spartans ended the tournament with a game against Florida Gulf Coast, in which the hosting team bested MSU, 6-0.
During that game, Joseph said the team struggled to pick up two-out hits, leaving 4 players on base through the first four innings.
Joseph said the schedule caught up to them and the players just ran out of gas, but she feels good about the team heading into spring break.
“I was really disappointed with (Sunday),” Joseph said.
“In this sense, we really pitched well enough to win both, and we just couldn’t get any timely hitting. The scores looked a little worse than the games reflected.”