PREVIEW: Michigan State-Western Michigan meet at Secchia on Wednesday
Who: Western Michigan (7-11) vs. Michigan State (10-16)
When: 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20
Where: Secchia Field, East Lansing, Michigan
Watch: Livestream available on BTN2Go and live stats available through msuspartans.com
Key players: Freshman catcher/third baseman Charla Echols, sophomore pitcher Alli Walker
Michigan State will play their first home game this Wednesday against Western Michigan, being one of the last non-conference games they will play this season. The Spartans wrapped up their last non-conference tournament on Sunday, with victories over Dayton and Miami (Ohio). WMU will play Michigan on March 19 at Ann Arbor before setting foot on Spartan soil.
After the team’s long time being away this season, freshman Charla Echols leads the Spartans with a .348 batting average while holding a 1.068 OPS, along with eight doubles. Sophomore Alli Walker paces MSU in the pitcher's circle with 35 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.
Broncos are paced by junior Mackenzie Swinehart and sophomore Sydney Stefanick. Swinehart leads the team with 22 hits and a .361 batting average, followed by a team-high 18 RBI and five home runs from Stefanick. Stefanick also leads WMU pitching staff with a 2.12 ERA (No. 3/MAC) in 56 innings pitched.
Wednesday's game will mark the 93rd all-time meeting between MSU and Western Michigan, with the Broncos holding a 47-44-1 series lead. MSU has won the previous three matchups, including a 6-1 win last season at Secchia Field. Both teams hold similar statistics when it comes to winning percentage with MSU with a .385 PCT and WMU with a .389 PCT.
The Spartans are ecstatic to be back on their home field and are hoping to beat Western Michigan for the fourth matchup in a row.