Green and White Softball Suffers 4-1 Setback to No. 13 Michigan

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Green and White Softball Suffers 4-1 Setback to No. 13 Michigan
Dayna Feenstra and Nikki Nicosia each post one hit in the loss.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State managed just two hits off of Wolverine hurler Jenny Ritter on Saturday, and suffered a 4-1 Big Ten loss to No. 13/12 Michigan at Old College Field. State falls to 34-23, with a 9-10 record against league opponents, while Michigan improves to 36-13, 13-4 Big Ten.
Spartan pitcher Rachel Turney (17-12) allowed nine hits and four earned runs in the loss, while Nikki Nicosia and Dayna Feenstra posted MSU’s only hits of the day. Michigan out-hit MSU 11-2 in the victory; Ritter tallied 12 strikeouts, allowing just one earned run from the circle.
The Wolverines left five runners on base through the first three innings and Ritter struck out five batters before Dana Rosenblatt drew a walk in the home half of the third for MSU’s first base runner. Abby Lincoln replaced Rosenblatt on the bases, and scored the first run of the day on an RBI single by Nikki Nicosia for a 1-0 Spartan advantage.
Grace Leutele singled to lead off the Michigan half of the fourth and advanced to second on a ground ball to the Spartan shortstop.  Green and White catcher Kara Weigle gunned down Leutele attempting to steal third before Stephanie Bercaw launched a fly ball to right field for the final out of the inning, ending the Wolverine threat.
Ritter held MSU hitless in the fourth, then Haas singled to right center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rebekah Millian in the Wolverine half of the fifth. Turney intentionally walked Becky Marx, putting runners on first and second for Samantha Findlay at the plate. Findlay laced a ball under the glove of the Spartan shortstop, scoring Haas to even the score at 1-1.Â
Michigan posted a three-run sixth inning behind a lead-off double and back-to-back home runs by Tiffany Worthy and Bercaw for the deciding 4-1 Wolverine advantage. Â
State mounted a threat in the home half of the seventh when Caitlin Mahoney drew a two-out walk, and was replaced by pinch runner Amy Szawara. Dayna Feenstra lined a single to center field to advance Szawara to second. With two outs, Traci Nicosia stepped to the plate representing the tying run; however Ritter delivered three consecutive strikes to close the 4-1 conference victory.
“I thought our kids made good adjustments (against Jenny Ritter) at the plate today, but we got beat by a better team,” Spartan head coach Jacquie Joseph said.
Michigan State concludes the regular season on Sunday against Michigan at 1 p.m. MSU will honor the 2006 senior class prior to Sunday’s game, which will be broadcast live on Comcast Local. Courtesy of MSU SID.