The MSU softball team dropped its first Big Ten game of the season last weekend at Purdue, but still won the weekend series by taking two of the three games against the Boilermakers.
The Spartans (21-14 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) drove in three runs in the top of the first inning of game one on Friday and held on to win, 3-2, behind a seven-strikeout performance from junior pitcher Kelly Smith. Purdue put up its pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but neither team crossed home plate the rest of the way.
Sophomore left fielder Alyssa McBride and senior center fielder Kylene Hopkins led MSU with both hitting 3-for-4 in game one, while sophomore catcher Ellie Stoffer collected a pair of RBIs.
The first blemish of the conference season came Saturday in the second game of the series where the Spartans fell, 7-2, after being out-hit 10 to five and committing two errors.
By the top of the sixth inning, MSU was at risk of being shut out, facing a six-run deficit. With one out against them, McBride was walked and the next batter, sophomore first baseman McKinzie Freimuth, belted a triple to score McBride for the Spartans’ first run. Hopkins then reached on an error, allowing Freimuth to score and that was the end of the scoring rally.
Freimuth had three of MSU’s five hits on the day in her four at-bats, as well as the team’s lone RBI.
Freshman pitcher Dani Goranson took the loss for MSU in game two, giving up five hits and four runs in 3 1/3 innings. Sophomore pitcher Carly Nielsen went the rest of the way, scattering five hits and walking two batters.
On Sunday, MSU capped off the series with a 1-0 win as Smith threw another complete game and struck out seven.
Both teams finished with an error and three hits in game three, but the Spartans squeaked by with a single run in the top of the second inning. Senior third baseman Jayme O’Bryant led off the inning with a double to left center field and scored on a sacrifice by Stoffer.
The Spartans return to action with a pair of midweek games against Central Michigan at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and at 4 p.m. Wednesday against Western Michigan.
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