Thursday, June 30, 2022

MSU softball sweeps Detroit Mercy in doubleheader

March 29, 2022
<p>Sophomore infielder Zaquai Dumas (31) hits a pitch during the sixth inning. The Spartans shut out the Titans, 2-0, in the first game of their doubleheader on March 29, 2022. </p>

Sophomore infielder Zaquai Dumas (31) hits a pitch during the sixth inning. The Spartans shut out the Titans, 2-0, in the first game of their doubleheader on March 29, 2022.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

The Michigan State softball team (18-13) has an extremely busy week ahead of it. They opened their first of six games in a doubleheader against Detroit Mercy (0-21) this evening and walked away with a clean sweep over the Titans.

GAME ONE

Final score: MSU 2, Detroit Mercy 0.

Junior left-handed pitcher Sarah Ladd pitched all seven innings and only allowed one hit. Ladd racked up 11 strikeouts out of 75 total pitches thrown.

Junior infielder Camryn Wincher, fifth-year infielder Caitie Ladd and freshman shortstop Kayleigh Roper were the offensive chefs in the first course of the doubleheader.

Wincher and Caitie Ladd went two-for-three on batting appearances each. Wincher knocked in a double and also brought home senior outfielder Courtney Callahan in the bottom of the first for a one-of-two total team RBIs. Caitie Ladd added the second RBI when she brought home Wincher in the bottom of the sixth.

GAME TWO

Final score: MSU 5, Detroit Mercy 2.

There were some shifts in the starting lineups coming into game two. Freshman right-handed pitcher Ashley Martin earned her first career start for the Spartans, and sophomore utility player Marissa Trivelpiece replaced senior outfielder Mackenzie Meech in left field.

The Titans came out of the gate after a brief 30-minute break hotter than they were all of game one. In just the top of the first, they were able to get two hits on Martin, more than they got in seven total innings with Sarah Ladd on the mound. Martin was replaced by fellow freshman right-handed pitcher Faith Guidry after opening the game, and Ladd did not pitch at all in the second game.

The bottom of the second inning brought some intensity and more action than had been seen all evening when Roper homered and brought herself and Caitie Ladd around the bases to put MSU up 2-0.

However, the Titans were determined to win their first game of the season. At the top of the third, with bases loaded, senior utility players McKenna Tanguay and Taylor Gauthier managed to race it around home before junior shortstop Allison Smith struck out swinging.

The game was then tied up.

That was no problem for Callahan, though, who ran it home off freshman catcher Macy Lee's double to center field and put MSU up by one. Lee herself ended up advancing onto third but did not manage to make it home before the Spartans struck out.

Meech all but solidified the second victory for the Spartans in the bottom of the sixth when she flied out to center field. She had to sacrifice a runner already on base but was able to bring Caitie Ladd home regardless.

Sophomore infielder Zaquai Dumas scored a fifth and final run following Ladd after Callahan doubled through left field.

The Spartans collected 10 hits, five runs and zero errors to top off the second game, and the Titans were unable to accomplish their goal, remaining victory-less.

(0:05) "I thought, offensively, we weren't very sharp," Michigan State Head Coach Jacquie Joseph said postgame. But, the thing is, we pitched so well in both games that it was one of those deals where, our pitchers gave us that chance to win. ... I thought we were lackluster in game one. I thought it was a sign of where you're growing, mentally, to get up for these mid-week, freezing cold days. It's just what you have to do, and fortunately, we had enough key hits that we were able to win them both."

The Spartans advance to 18-13 on the season and will host Toledo (8-16) in a single, non-conference game tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

"I think that any time you pitch as well as we pitched, (you're) going to be in the game, period," Joseph said. "That's a strength of ours. ... We've got to continue to play good defense and then hopefully figure out a way to score more runs (going into the remainder of the week)."

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