Tuesday, July 27, 2021

MSU softball returns to Secchia Stadium after nearly 700 days

March 26, 2021

After nearly 700, MSU softball will finally return to Secchia Stadium for the first home game of the 2021 season. 

With the majority of their 2020 season cut short, the Spartans are excited to return to their home field. 

“I can just tell you that based on practice and based on how our players have responded to this pandemic, in every way, they are chomping at the bit,” Head Coach Jacquie Joseph said in weekly availability. “They are grateful for the opportunity.”

The team returns from Leesburg, Florida, with three wins under their belt and standout performances from freshman pitcher Ashley Miller, Caitie Ladd, Alexis Barroso and many others. 

“But Ashley Miller, man, that kid does not make excuses," Joseph said. "She goes right out there right at ‘em, and that is why I think Ashley Miller is going to have a great career." 

With three wins and nine losses so far this season, the Spartans have been focusing on their offensive abilities, from cutting down strikeouts to moving the runners. 

“We got to cut the strikeouts down in half," Joseph said. "I mean, we struck out at an alarming rate. … It’s the easiest out you give their pitcher and their defense, is to strike out." 

This year is unique as the team has four pitchers, in which Joseph says is a luxury to have, one that hasn’t happened in a long time. 

The team, with a variety of newcomers and veterans, has been working on individual player development as well as their team chemistry. With a warmer Michigan spring and finally being able to play again at Secchia Stadium, the Spartans are excited to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this weekend. 

“The weather this March has been so amazing, we’ve been outside in our stadium practicing more this March than in my 27 previous years,” Joseph said. “We’ve been outside at Secchia Stadium practicing outside for a couple weeks now. That has never happened in my entire career.” 

The Scarlet Knights (2-10) have a sophomore right handed pitcher, Ashley Hitchcock, who recently pitched her first complete game in her last appearance against Indiana. This was the most innings pitched by one player since Alyssa Landrith in a 2014 game versus Michigan State.

The Spartans will play a four game series against the Scarlet Knights, beginning Friday, March 26 at 4 p.m.

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