MSU softball defeated by in-state rival Michigan
After a 2-1 series win over Penn State last weekend, the MSU softball team faced No. 18 University of Michigan Wednesday.
The game was originally slated to be played in East Lansing, but the poor field conditions forced the game to be moved to Ann Arbor.
The Spartans got off to a slow start and could never fully recover as they fell, 5-1.
MSU struggled at the plate throughout the contest as the Wolverines forced the Spartans to go down in order in four innings Wednesday.
The Wolverines scored four unanswered runs over the first three innings before freshman Summer Callahan scored the lone run for the Spartans in the bottom of the third.
Redshirt-junior Lindsey Besson recorded two hits in three at-bats in the loss.
Michigan All-American Megan Betsa, and the current national leader in strikeouts, tied her season high with 17 K's on the day, while U-M sophomore outfielder Natalie Peters led the Wolverines with a game-high three hits in the win along with recording one run in four at-bats.
"Megan Betsa is an All-American, and she certainly looked like one today," MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph said to MSU Athletic Communications. "We had a few times where we were able to work deep counts, but she’d come back with a really nice pitch and that was the end of it. We knew coming in that she was going to be a tough one to crack, and she showed today why she is so highly regarded and successful. We’ll refocus again tomorrow and get ourselves ready for the weekend series with Illinois, which is another very good team.”
The Wolverines scored first to open up the game as a double to left field by junior Aidan Falk brought home two runs in the first inning.
Down 2-0, the Spartans failed to cut their deficit as they went down in order in the first two frames.
In the third, the Wolverines added onto their lead by scoring two more runs.
Another double to left field by Falk allowed senior outfielder Kelly Christner to get safely to home to take a 3-0 lead.
With the bases loaded, junior pitcher Bridgette Rainey walked U-M’s Amanda Vargas, which gave the Wolverines an easy run as Falk advanced to home on the walk to extend their lead to four.
Rainey pitched three innings and let up five hits, four runs and walked two as she was recorded with the loss and dropped her overall record to 12-6 on the season.
The Spartans finally responded in the bottom of the third as junior outfielder Lea Foerster singled to center field, sending Callahan to score the Spartans’ only run of the game.
After two scoreless innings, the Wolverines tacked on another run.
With two on base, sophomore Faith Canfield grounded out on a sacrifice bunt.
The bunt allowed sophomore outfielder Natalie Peters to advance to second, while sophomore Katie Alexander scored.
With Alexander scoring, the Wolverines held a 5-1 advantage over the Spartans to end the sixth after the Spartans went down in order.
Freshman pitcher Jordan Watson didn’t allow the Wolverines to register a hit on base in the seventh, but the Spartans couldn’t capitalize as their four run deficit was too large for MSU to come away with a victory. MSU will now face the Illinois this weekend in a three-game series.
Due to the flooding and poor field conditions at Secchia Softball Stadium, the Spartans will play at Davenport University’s Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex in Grand Rapids.
As a result of the relocation, the Spartans will play one game on Friday and then a doubleheader on Saturday.