Friday, May 20, 2022

U pitches shutout against Eastern

April 5, 2002
Junior center fielder Sandy Lewis holds up a fly ball she dove to catch against Eastern Michigan on Thursday afternoon at Old College Field. The Spartans beat the Eagles 2-0. MSU returns to action with a doubleheader on Saturday at Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Ind. —

Riding the arm of sophomore Jessica Beech, the MSU softball team defeated Eastern Michigan 2-0 on Thursday.

The game, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was the Spartans’ (14-21 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) fifth shutout of the season. Tuesday’s game was postponed due to rain.

Beech (6-5) recorded her second win in two days with her fifth complete game of the season. She allowed just four hits and one walk in seven innings.

With the warmth of spring nothing but a dream, Beech said she knew pitch placement was the key.

“I knew it might be hard to throw hard,” Beech said. “So I tried to work on snap and get a lot of movement.

“We have all types of accessories to keep us warm.”

Eagles’ right-hander Marcy Mobley also pitched a complete game. In six innings, she had six strikeouts and no walks to go with her two earned runs.

The difference was that the Eagles stranded eight runners in the game.

The Spartans didn’t do much better, waiting five and two-thirds innings to score.

Sophomore third baseman Brittney Green stepped to the plate with two outs and two on. Green’s single scored freshman designated player Lauren Pedersen and junior shortstop Margaret Schick to give MSU the only runs of the game.

After managing just two hits the first five innings, the Spartans collected three key hits in the sixth inning.

Green said she simply told herself, “Just go out and play. There’s two outs, just hit the ball,” before stepping up to the plate.

Spartan manager Jacquie Joseph said the close game doesn’t bother her. She said as long as MSU comes out on top she’s happy.

“As long as I win them I can take it,” Joseph said. “I have the heart for it.”

Joseph said this win does more than pad the team’s record. She said any instate win helps the Spartans in recruiting.

“When you win instate games it helps when you go in kids’ homes,” she said.

Joseph said any time she schedules a nonconference game, it’s a critical game. She said losing a nonconference game hurts more than anything.

“We’re hoping that we do win them,” Joseph said. “And they’ll give us a little bit of confidence and a boost going into conference games.

The Spartans will look to extend their three-game winning streak when they take on Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne in a doubleheader Saturday in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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