Monday, October 19, 2020

Softball exels in Hoosier Classic

March 19, 2012

Last week, MSU softball head coach Jacquie Joseph said she had the best 7-15 team in the country.

This weekend, the Spartans (10-16) might have proven her right.

MSU spent the weekend in Bloomington, Ind., playing in the Hoosier Classic and winning three of the four games, beating UIC on Saturday and sweeping North Dakota and Wright State on Sunday.

In the Spartans’ first game, sophomore pitcher Cassee Layne gave up five runs, three earned and walked five in 5.3 innings, as MSU lost to Central Michigan 8-4.

But the Spartans responded later in the day, knocking off UIC 11-3, behind a grand slam from junior catcher Mary Kate DiVirgilio.

DiVirgilio’s home run was one of three hit by the Spartans in the game, as utility freshman Stephanie Sanders went deep in the fourth inning, and senior third baseman and outfielder Ali Grant added her own blast in the fifth inning.

MSU’s offense continued to click on Sunday, when the Spartans rallied from a five-run deficit to beat North Dakota 8-6.

MSU fell behind quickly after North Dakota took a 4-0 lead in the first inning and added to the lead with a solo home run in the fourth inning.

But after the Spartans rallied to cut the deficit to one, MSU exploded with a four-run seventh inning to take a lead that wasn’t relinquished.

MSU closed out the Hoosier Classic by knocking off Wright State 4-2, behind a strong pitching performance from Carly Nielsen.

The freshman started for the Spartans and got the win, pitching five innings and allowing two runs, with only one earned, and striking out four.

Layne came in for Nielsen and got the save, pitching two shutout innings and striking out three.

MSU is now getting ready to open the conference season with a three-game series against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend.

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