EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State softball team improved to 28-11 overall with a 2-1 victory vs. Bowling Green on Tuesday.Â With the loss, the Falcons fall to 23-15 for the year.Â Behind solid pitching by starter Megan Hair and reliever Lesley Noel, the Spartan defense allowed five hits, recording just one error on the day.Â Dayna Feenstra, Caitlin Mahoney and Traci Nicosia each tallied one hit for the Green and White offense, while Meghan Darhower and Nikki Nicosia added one RBI, respectively.
The Falcons opened scoring in the top of the third, when Desiree Miller laced an RBI-double to the center field fence for a 1-0 lead.Â State answered in the bottom half of the inning, when Nikki Nicosia reached on a fielder's choice and Traci Nicosia scored on an error by the Bowling Green catcher, evening the score at 1-1.Â MSU added another run when Meghan Darhower reached on a ground ball to the Falcon shortstop, scoring Gina Mondo from third for a 2-1 Spartan advantage.
Hair allowed just one run and four hits from the circle, before Noel replaced her in the top of the fifth.Â After a quiet fourth and fifth inning at the plate, MSU's Dayna Feenstra singled to right, and Caitlin Mahoney reached on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the sixth, but BGSU's Hayley Weimer forced consecutive outs to end the threat.
Noel faced just four batters in the seventh, as MSU captured its sixth straight win at Old College Field.Â Both teams struggled offensively, as Bowling Green out-hit the Spartans 5-3, marking the fourth time MSU has claimed victory while posting fewer hits than its opponent this year.
Miscues in the field played a significant role in the match-up, as both Spartan scores came as the result of infield errors by the Falcon defense.
"We are pitching very well right now," Spartan head coach Jacquie Joseph said.Â "We didn't have our best day at the plate, but our pitching and defense stepped up big for us today."
Michigan State begins a five game road trip, Thursday at Loyola-Chicago (4 p.m. CDT).Â After two consecutive non-conference games, MSU resumes Big Ten play, Friday (7 p.m. CDT) and Saturday (noon CDT) vs. Wisconsin, before traveling to face Iowa in a doubleheader on Sunday (noon CDT).