Spartans rebound with Sunday win, split weekend
The MSU softball team was able to rebound from a frustrating Big Ten road opener by defeating Indiana 5-2 in Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday.
The win moves MSU to 17-18 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten, while the Hooisers falls to 8-24 overall and 1-5 in the Big Ten.
On Saturday, the Spartans blew a 4-1 lead to give the Hoosiers their first conference win.
“(Sunday) was critical. It was a must-win for us,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said. “We knew we blew it (Saturday) and we just had done the same old thing — we didn’t finish. (Sunday) was really critical.”
The Spartans opened with a bang when junior shortstop Lindsey Hansen hit a leadoff home run to give MSU an early 1-0 lead.
The Hoosiers quickly answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead.
But sophomore pitcher Lauren Kramer found her groove after the first inning, allowing zero runs and just one hit after the first.
“Kramer was brilliant (Sunday),” Joseph said. “The problem we’re having is she’s been inconsistent sometimes, but when she’s on, she’s really, really good, and she was really good (Sunday).”
In the fourth inning, junior outfielder Jessica Bracamonte led off the inning with a walk and scored two batters later on a double by senior pitcher Kelly Confer.
Confer later scored on a fielding error to give MSU a 3-2 lead.
The Spartans added to their lead in the fifth by scoring two more runs and held on for the victory.
MSU has blown several leads this season, so to hold on to this one was critical, Joseph said.
“It’s the story of this whole team and season is that we just, for whatever reason, don’t finish teams off and we did blow games that way,” she said.
“(Sunday) it was really good to be in a dogfight and finish strong.”
The win was MSU’s fourth in its past five games.
The Spartans will travel to State College, Pa., to face Penn State (25-11, 4-2) in a doubleheader Wednesday.
The first game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
“When you get beat, that’s not a problem, but when you’re in games you should win, you have leads, it’s critical that you win the game,” Joseph said.
“We just have to figure out a way to do that. Penn State’s a very good team and it’s going to take a great effort.”