After breaking its seven-game losing streak, the MSU softball team is feeling prepared for its three-game series against Penn State — and hoping for its first conference win of the season.
The Spartans(11-23 overall, 0-6 Big Ten) beat Central Michigan (14-14) 6-1 on Wednesday in Mount Pleasant, Mich. The team will kick off its weekend at 2 p.m. on Saturday with a doubleheader at University Park, Penn.
“If we can keep our focus and not get intimidated by the Big Ten games this weekend, … we can win,” sophomore pitcher Cassee Layne said.
Layne pitched her second full game of the season against the Chippewas, advancing her season record to 5-10.
“After a while, you get tired of losing,” Layne said. “We showed up very focused.”
She said the win made her confident going into the weekend.
Penn State (8-22) is also 0-6 in the Big Ten and, like the Spartans, will be fighting for its first conference win of the season.
“They are a bit more desperate,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said.
Joseph said the desperate attitude could either be beneficial or harmful for the Nittany Lions, but players said they aren’t worried.
“We’re excited to get down there … and continue this good feeling that we have,” senior catcher Brett Williams said.
Joseph said Penn State outfielder Cassidy Bell could potentially get in the way of the team’s good feeling.
“We’re just going to make sure that kid doesn’t hurt us too much,” she said.
Bell has a .302 total batting average and a .956 fielding percentage.
Despite the tough weekend ahead, many members of the team said they feel confident about their games against Penn State.
“I’ve always been confident though,” Joseph said.
Joseph said although the preseason schedule beat the players down, she hopes the latest win convinced the players they are capable.
“Every game’s a fight but you have to have confidence you (can) win,” freshman first-baseman McKinzie Freimuth said.
The Spartans are hoping they can keep a momentum going into the weekend.
“I’m hoping we just can play solid,” Joseph said. “Whether (we) win or lose.”
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