Perhaps a dash of good weather was all the MSU softball team needed.
It was 82 degrees at Secchia Stadium on Wednesday, and the Spartans (22-23 overall, 7-9 Big Ten) snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout against Eastern Michigan. The win came behind a career game by freshman pitcher Dani Goranson, who pitched her first career shutout.
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph said the win was a necessary one for a team that has struggled in recent weeks.
“(The win) means a ton; I mean it’s huge,” Joseph said. “I can’t overstate it. Any adjective you want to use for us to start feeling good about ourselves. We pitched extremely well. We played good defense right until that last ball hit.”
Joseph said Goranson showed growth in her sixth complete game.
“Dani did everything she needed to do to be successful,” Joseph said. “She worked ahead of the count. When she didn’t work ahead, she recovered quickly. She had commanded the strike zone. She had no walks. Coming into this game, Dani was walking one an inning. Now she pitches seven innings with no walks. So that was a tremendous outing for her.”
MSU scored all three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Junior designated player Sarah Bowling got things rolling with a double at the beginning of the inning.
MSU found success capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes, as senior second baseman Jenny Ramsaier and sophomore catcher Ellie Stoffer each compiled RBIs shortly after throwing errors by Eastern Michigan in the second. Stephanie Sanders notched the third RBI later in the inning.
Joseph said the win was timely, given MSU plays a red-hot Wisconsin team that has won nine-straight games on Friday.
“We have got to play our best ball,” she said. “They’re having a great season and we’re on the road, and we want to feel good going into the Big Ten tournament. We’ll have to really play well.”
The weather was a welcome change for the Spartans, who have had 12 games cancelled or postponed this season due to bad weather. However, Goranson said it’s important to remain prepared for anything.
“We had days where it was supposed to be 70 and warm, and it started to snow,” Goranson said. “It felt really nice to actually have some sweat coming.”
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