Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"We're the home team, it was our game to come out and play:" MSU softball falls short to Rutgers 3-2

March 26, 2021
<p>Rugters&#x27; Ashley Hitchcock (7) pitches the ball during their victory over Michigan State on March 26, 2021.</p>

Rugters' Ashley Hitchcock (7) pitches the ball during their victory over Michigan State on March 26, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

MSU softball walked away disappointed as the Scarlet Knights took a win over them in their first home game in almost 700 days. 

“I really was disappointed in the way we started, for sure," Head Coach Jacquie Jones said pertaining to their tough loss to Rutgers. "You know, we’re home. We’re the home team, it was our game to come out and play well."

With COVID-19 precautions, no fans were allowed to attend, except close family and friends. It was an exciting moment for the team to have their family there, despite not walking away with the win under their belt. 

For freshman pitcher, Ashley Miller, playing at home field was an opportunity she has been looking forward to. 

“It’s definitely a really cool experience having our first home series opener here, definitely really cool, especially for my freshman year,” Miller said during postgame interviews. “I’m just really glad to have the opportunity to play with everything going on with COVID as well.”

Miller pitched a total of 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts for her first game at Secchia Stadium, but that doesn’t mean that pregame jitters didn’t hit her. 

“It’s just different when you’re playing at your home stadium and the stands in front of fans," Miller said. "So a little bit of jitters. But once we got through that first inning, it was some smooth sailing."

From the first inning on, the Spartans didn’t allow the Scarlet Knights to score any more runs. 

Offensively, the Spartans were able to score a run in the bottom of the second and the bottom of the fourth with a home run from freshman Alexis Barroso. 

“I’m not trying to go and hit home runs," Barroso said in postgame interviews. "But it is a really great feeling, going up to bat, having those two under my belt, knowing I can hit this pitching."

Besides the two runs, the Spartans struggled on the offense today, which coach Joseph noted needed to be adjusted before going into the rest of their matchups against Rutgers. 

“Offensively, we just made zero adjustments … taking called third strikes, just it’s inexcusable,” Joseph said during post-game interviews. “We pitched well enough to win after the first inning. And we play defense well enough to win. And we just made zero adjustments at the plate. Very disappointing.”

The Spartans plan to focus on being more of a presence at the plate and extending their bats for the rest of the series against the Scarlet Knights.

MSU will take on Rutgers in a doubleheader home at Secchia Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m. 

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