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The senior pitcher clapped loudly with her teammates as cheers erupted throughout the Berkowitz Basketball Complex. The MSU softball team had found out it will head to Athens, Ga. to face Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA Regional on Thursday.
For Beech, a senior pitcher, this was to be her last Big Ten tournament and maybe her last game if the Spartans couldn't beat the top seed U-M on its home field. The hour and twenty minute delay wasn't helping her to get ready either.
Sophomore catcher Elizabeth Peterson knocked in two runs for the Spartans in this nonconference game. MSU improves its record to 27-21, while Eastern Michigan drops to 13-26.
The Spartans took third in the Big Ten and had one of their best seasons in club history last year, so it's easy to understand why the Spartans (26-21, 6-10 Big Ten) are frustrated with their conference record.
Up to bat was senior third base Brittney Green, wanting to be the hero again after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning in the first game of the afternoon's doubleheader.
Furrow leads the team and Big Ten with a .447 batting average, in addition to owning the most hits (63) and doubles (16).
The Spartans (24-19 overall, 4-8 Big Ten) lost, 6-1 and 11-6, to the Nittany Lions (18-25, 4-6) at Nittany Lion Field in University Park, Pa. In reference to the team's pitching, head coach Jacquie Joseph said, "we're in real trouble.
"We're 3-5 in the Big Ten and we're going to play two teams that are right about where we're at, with Penn State being a little down in compared to Ohio State," head coach Jacquie Joseph said. "However, both teams we think we match up well against. It's a big, important weekend."
Beech is now alone atop the Big Ten in wins, with 18.
The MSU softball team hosts an Oakland squad that has less than half the wins the Spartans have. But given MSU's struggles, this doesn't provide much comfort to the team.
On Sunday, MSU third base Brittney Green faced two longtime rivals, catcher/first base Meghann Reiss and utility player Kaitlin Reiss of Wisconsin. MSU won the first game, 7-5, but the Badgers rallied back in the second game to defeat MSU, 11-8.
After winning the first game, 7-5, the Spartans (21-16 overall, 3-5 Big Ten) took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth of the second game. Freshman pitcher Christy McGrew struggled in the inning, so Joseph brought in senior pitcher Jessica Beech, who owns school records for both strikeouts and shutouts in a single season.
The Spartans (19-14, 1-3 Big Ten) hope to put their recent woes behind them - 1-4 in the past five - as Minnesota (22-11, 3-1) and Wisconsin (21-17, 1-3) come to East Lansing.
Despite a record-setting performance from its star pitcher, the MSU softball team endured a rocky start to its Big Ten season this past weekend.
The Spartans (17-10) made just one error and registered 15 hits and three home runs in the doubleheader.
MSU looks to improve upon its 0-3 record when facing nationally ranked opponents this year with the start of their home schedule and Big Ten Conference games.
MSU softball shined in the Buckeye Invitational, posting wins against Oakland and Robert Morris on Saturday.
Second baseman Janette Hurtado drove in Amy Szawara to win the final game with a single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The MSU softball team's cinderella season came to a close this weekend following a 5-0 loss to No. 2 UCLA on Sunday.
Today, the No. 3-seeded Spartans (37-17) will make their first tournament appearance since 1999 against No. 6 seed North Carolina (39-20-1). It will be the third time MSU has been in the tournament.