The No. 7 seed MSU softball team couldn’t get their bats going early enough as they fell to the No. 10 seed Purdue Boilermakers, 8-5, in Lincoln, Neb., on Thursday night in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
With the loss came an end to the MSU softball team’s season. The team finished with a sub-.500 record for the second straight year, but showed improvement compared to last season.
Starting the year strong, the Spartans stumbled towards the end of the season as unpredictable weather lead to game cancellations — and perhaps a loss of momentum.
Michigan State (24-25, 9-11 Big Ten) is now 7-13 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament. The Boilermakers improved to 23-31 overall and 8-16 in conference games.
MSU fell behind the Boilermakers early in the top of the third.
Purdue’s lead-off batter, Andie Varsho, hit a three-run homerun to left-center, to take an early 3-0 lead over the Spartans.
MSU’s bats woke up in the bottom of the sixth but were not enough to climb out of an 8-0 hole.
Senior center fielder Kylene Hopkins, ranked eighth in the Big Ten for batting average, started the rally off with a single up the middle that scored sophomore left fielder Alyssa McBride from second. Freshman second baseman Destinee Luna kept the rally going with a two-run double to right field.
The final run of the game for the Spartans’ came after a senior second baseman Jenny Ramsaier two-run single to right-center.
A single-elimination tournament, MSU received an early departure, while the Boilermakers are set to face No. 2 Nebraska Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m.