Thursday, December 8, 2022

Pitcher perfect: Ashley Miller tosses third ever perfect game in MSU softball history

February 16, 2022
<p>Freshman pitcher Ashley Miller (7) practices pitching along the first base line during the game against Purdue. The Boilermakers made a seven-run comeback in the sixth inning to top the Spartans 9-6 at Secchia Stadium on April 24, 2021.</p>

Freshman pitcher Ashley Miller (7) practices pitching along the first base line during the game against Purdue. The Boilermakers made a seven-run comeback in the sixth inning to top the Spartans 9-6 at Secchia Stadium on April 24, 2021.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Michigan State sophomore pitcher Ashley Miller blew the crowd away as she pitched a perfect game this past Sunday at Sleepy Hollow Stadium in Leesburg, Florida against the Akron Zips.

This was the third time in MSU softball history that there's been a perfect game, and the first time a perfect game was thrown by an MSU softball player since 2007 by Megan Hair.

"She has a chance to be the best and we've had some great ones. ... Ashley Miller has an opportunity to beat their records, I really believe that, she has the mentality that they had which is everything," Michigan State Head coach Jacquie Joseph said.

This game was a perfect way to kick off the season. Miller plans take her skills and determination from it with her through the rest of the season.

"This gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season," Miller said. "I believe this was the best weekend I've had so far my career at Michigan state, I really do think that it's going to give me a lot of momentum for the rest of the season as well as, I'm just glad I got off to a running start and can carry that through.

Ashley was supported by her fellow teammates and coaching staff. They assisted her in throwing her perfect game, and backed her up. It was a great game both offensively and defensively for the Spartans. Miller did what she would normally, aiming to succeed.

"I had known throughout the game that I had it going, but I didn't really think of it," Miller said. "Honestly, it didn't really matter to me. I just didn't want them to score or make it a close game which relieved a lot of the pressure for me. ... Not only did I do well, but the team in general did really well. It was probably the most strikeouts that I've ever had, but in addition my defense really backed me up and allowed me to get the perfect game."

After a long game and series like that, Miller will need some serious rest and time to take care of her body — something that Joseph knows won't be a problem.

"Ashley does a great job of taking care of her body," Joseph said. "Three games a weekend is difficult. She's gotta recover, take care of her arm and she's gotta maintain her conditioning.

MSU plans to host Jacksonville Friday at 5pm and 7:30pm. The game against Akron wrapped up the tournament leaving the Spartans at 3-2 going into next weekend at home against Jacksonville.

"We played five games (this past weekend) and made one error. One. ... That could've been scored. ... I don't think that's ever happened in my 29 years here," Joseph said.

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