Softball loses to Eagles 6-3
Two batters in, it became clear that the MSU softball team was in for an interesting game.
With Eastern Michigan’s Jessica Richards perched on third, the Eagles’ Katy Blaharski attempted a steal from first base. However, the throw from MSU senior catcher Brett Williams was mishandled, allowing Richards to go home and Blaharski to return to first base safely.
The score was the first in what would be a five-run first inning from which the Spartans (11-27 overall, 0-9 Big Ten) would be unable to recover, as they fell to the visiting Eagles 6-3 Wednesday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, when you have a bad inning in the first, you haven’t had any time to get (another pitcher) up,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said about starting pitcher Cassee Layne’s rough outing. “So what happens is, they scored five runs before I could even get anyone out of the (bullpen). So that caught us off guard.”
MSU would respond in the second inning, taking advantage of a pair of Eastern Michigan errors to score sophomore utility player Sarah Bowling to bring the Spartans to within 5-1.
In the fourth, Eastern’s Katy Blaharski was hit by a foul ball while warming up in the circle and Kaylee Tolliver stepped into the box to pinch hit. Tolliver promptly hit a solo home run over the center field wall, putting the Eagles back up by five.
However the Spartans responded in kind in the bottom of the fourth when leadoff hitter junior third base Jayme O’Bryant cracked a home run to the same spot as Tolliver’s.
“I believe it sparked something in our offense,” O’Bryant said. “But unfortunately we weren’t able to get much going off that.”
The final score of the game came when Williams drove in senior outfielder Lori Padilla on a sacrifice fly to center field in the bottom of the fifth.
Williams said although it was good to see the Spartans fight into the late innings, it didn’t do much to assuage the feelings of the final outcome.
“In the end whenever you lose a game you feel like you could have given more,” she said. “We just weren’t ready. Our defense wasn’t ready, our pitching wasn’t ready and neither was our offense. Granted, we didn’t give up, but we’re not happy with the result.”
The Spartans will return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday when they host in-state rival Michigan for the first of a three-game series before heading to Ann Arbor on Sunday to finish the series with a doubleheader.