MSU softball set to face Eastern Michigan Eagles, looking to get back on track
The Spartans enter the non-conference matchup coming off a miserable weekend against rival No. 4 Michigan, who swept them in the series.
MSU was outscored 31-1 in the three games throughout the weekend, including a 14-0 drubbing the last time out on Sunday.
Prior to that, MSU split a doubleheader with Indiana.
Following a rough weekend against U-M, junior outfielder Stephanie Sanders is remaining positive and pointed to playing simple ball in MSU’s final 11 games, starting with the Eagles this week.
“We’re just gonna keep moving forward,” Sanders said. “We gotta remain focused and go in there and do the same thing. Throw the ball, hit the ball and pitch the ball. Keep the game simple.”
MSU started last week by winning the first leg of a doubleheader at Indiana, but went 1-4 overall in the week. The Spartans have ultimately struggled as of late, losing 13 of the last 15 games.
The one bright spot has been freshman pitcher Valerie Kaff, who has put together two strong outings, including that win against Indiana. In the win, she went all seven innings and surrendered only three earned runs.
Eastern Michigan also will be entering the series on a bit of a slide. The Eagles have yet to win a conference game, and have lost 12 of their last 14 games. Eastern Michigan’s most recent win came on April 2 against Valparaiso.
Freshman outfielder Michelle Kriegshauser leads the Eagles at the plate, hitting .292 with 9 RBIs this season.
Senior infielder Amanda Stanton also is one of the Eagles’ top offensive threats, with 18 runs batted in.
Despite Eastern’s poor record, head coach Jacquie Joseph is expecting a challenge from Eastern Michigan and wants her players to come out ready to perform at their highest level.
“It will be very, very important for us to come out with a sense of urgency and a sense of purpose to play Eastern Michigan,” Joseph said. “They will be well-coached, they will be enthusiastic. It will require our best and not being short of that. Got a big test and I think they’re going to look forward to that.”