Friday, May 20, 2022

Spartans go 3-1 in first Big Ten weekend

April 1, 2002
Penn State outfielder Megan Humphrey makes it to second base while MSU junior second baseman Margaret Schick (11) tries to tag her out during the game Sunday at Old College Field. —

The MSU softball team battled bad weather and unsteady play to start the Big Ten season.

MSU (12-21 overall, 1-3 Big Ten) dropped two games to No. 25 Ohio State (29-8, 2-2) by the scores of 2-1 and 13-0 on Saturday. The Spartans lost 2-1 to Penn State (14-15, 2-2) in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday before exploding for a 11-4 victory in the second game.

“The games gave the younger players a chance to see what the Big Ten is all about,” junior catcher Robyn Golden said.

Manager Jacquie Joseph said she was happy to win the last game of the four-game home stand, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“It’s good that we were able to salvage a win,” Joseph said. “But it’s not good enough.”

Joseph said the team showed it was able to stay close in most of the games, but just wasn’t able to pull off the wins.

“In game two against Ohio State we were very inconsistent,” she said. “We need to be more consistent in our performances.”

In Sunday’s opening game, the Spartans fell behind early on a solo home run by Nittany Lions third base Jennifer Tripken.

MSU tied the game in the second on a RBI-single by freshman second base Janette Hurtado.

Penn State regained the lead and secured the win when right fielder Jackie Dabrowski hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.

The Spartans found themselves with a chance to tie the game in the sixth, but stranded a runner on first and third base.

Senior Becky Gray (6-10) pitched the entire game and picked up the loss. Marisa Hanson earned the win for Penn State.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Spartans scored early and often, and took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Sophomore first base Natalie Furrow got the rally started with a single. She later scored on a single by Golden. Sophomore third base Brittney Green scored on an error and freshman left fielder Lauren Pedersen was walked with the bases loaded.

The Spartans came back with four more runs in the second inning, when Hurtado singled to left, scoring three Spartans.

MSU tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth, before Penn State scored its first run in bottom of the fourth.

Penn State rallied in the fifth, scoring three runs. But the Spartans were able to hang on to the win.

Joseph said she was pleased her team was able to put up 11 runs in one game and hopes it will carry over into the remainder of the season.

“We have not been doing that, and it’s good to see,” Joseph said.

Golden who is hitting .313 for the season, said losing to Penn State still hurts.

“They are no better than any team we’ve played before,” she said.

Furrow, who went 3-for-5 in the second game with two RBIs, said that hopefully the last game will give the team some momentum as they go into its next game against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.

“It was good to see our defense and pitching hold up in the late innings,” Furrow said. “And we need to continue to score early.”

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