The MSU softball team kicked off the 2014 season by traveling to DeLand, Fla. to play in the Stetson Lead-Off Classic this past weekend.
The Spartans went 2-1 on the weekend, losing to host Stetson on Friday but coming back strong to sweep Rhode Island in a doubleheader Sunday.
MSU is coming off a 24-25 record last year.
Against Stetson, the Spartans were crippled by a fifth-inning surge that saw the hometown team score four runs.
Sophomore infielder Shanin Thomas drove in the only run of the game for the Spartans with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth inning.
MSU was scheduled to face off with Stetson again on Saturday, but the weather in Florida had other plans and the game was rained out.
A doubleheader against Rhode Island was scheduled for Sunday instead.
Although the games were moved, it didn’t slow down the Spartans, as they came out and swept Rhode Island in convincing fashion, winning game one 5-0 and game two 9-0.
In game one, freshman Kassidy Kujawa led the way offensively for the Spartans, going 3-4 with two RBIs, including a home run. Freshman Sarah Gutknecht also added a home run.
Senior pitcher Kelly Smith threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight batters on the day and only allowing four hits.
Game two featured a major offensive explosion for the Spartans, which was capped off by a fourth inning grand slam by Thomas. Freshman Valerie Kaff picked up the win after four shutout innings.
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