Michigan State Softball defeated Central Michigan 3-0 in the home opener at Secchia Field for their second straight win to improve to 9-12 on the year.
MSU sophomore pitcher Faith Guidry had an excellent day on the mound. As the starter, she posted five hitless innings, four strikeouts, and two hits allowed in route to a complete game shutout to get the win.
After a slow offensive start by both teams, the Spartans loaded the bases in the bottom of the third. Junior first baseman Alexis Barroso gave MSU the first run of the game as she drove a ball into the outfield for a sacrifice fly, bringing home senior shortstop Anna Fox.
Junior outfielder AJ Militello continued the spark of offense in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to left field to put the Spartans up 2-0. Guidry responded in the top of the fifth after the Chippewas put two runners on first and second, as she forced two infield outs from CMU.
Militello described the feeling of her solo shot that continued the momentum for MSU.
“I just went up there and I believe it or not I tried to hit a ground ball,” Militello said. “Whatever works I guess.”
Head Coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley praised Militello and her bomb to left that propelled the Spartans ahead.
“I told her just the moment of it was really good,” Kelley said. “They were already kind of getting shut down offensively. So, for us to come up and kind of put that stamp on it, standing over there next to the dugout, you can feel and hear the deflation, so it was a big moment.”
The Spartans weren’t finished pouring on runs as junior utility player Collette Allen doubled to left field bringing home senior third baseman Jessica Mabrey, extending MSU’s lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
Guidry’s no-hitter came to an end in the top half of the sixth inning by the hands of Chippewa junior outfielder Abbey Tolmie. The CMU threat didn’t last long however, as Guidry responded by forcing a groundout for a double play followed by an additional groundout to end the half inning.
Kelley was very happy with Guidry’s performance and felt that it gave the Spartans what it needed to go on and win the game.
“Faith was awesome on the mound,” Kelley said. “She just set the tone for us from the beginning of the game and just really made it easy on our offense to feel comfortable and feel relaxed and put up the runs that we needed.”
The identity that the Spartans had with their complete team performance against a squad that competes in close games with most of their opponents in Central Michigan was also something that Kelley emphasized.
Militello also credited her team for their performance during the evening and especially Guidry’s day on the rubber, and how she thinks the win helps boost confidence for herself in the team going into Big Ten Play starting this weekend.
“I just think that having your home opener and just getting that win really just boosted us,” Militello said. “We’ve had injuries and things happen and so we just had fun out there. I felt like we really played together well, and I just think that it’s great going into the weekend.”
The Spartans continue their opening home stand as they open Big Ten Conference play against Wisconsin for a three-game series starting late Friday afternoon.