Spartan Softball Suffers Doubleheader Defeats at Florida Atlantic

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Spartans fall 5-1 in game one; 8-4 in game two.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Spartans fall 5-1 in game one; 8-4 in game two. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Michigan State softball team (10-9) fell in both contests of a doubleheader against Florida Atlantic (10-10) in Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday, March 8. MSU fell to the Owls by a score of 5-1 in game one before falling in the second game, 8-4. Junior Ali Grant led the Spartans offensively in both games, going 3-for-6 while slugging .833 with an RBI and two doubles.

 

Game one started out as a stalemate until the bottom of the fifth when FAU had a five-run breakout inning. The scoring started when Jordan Stovall singled down the left-field line to score both Heather Barnes and Brittany Walker. Back-to-back MSU throwing errors following a sacrifice fly to center by Hailey Broyles resulted in the scoring of three runs. Ashlyn Parmerter, Carly Speerin and Stovall all wound up crossing home on the play, giving Florida Atlantic a 5-0 lead.

 

The Green and White attempted to rally in the top of the seventh when senior Lindsey Hansen blasted her eighth homer of the season, and 30th of her career, with a deep shot to center field. Hansen’s solo shot brought the score to 5-1. The Spartans were unable to manufacture additional runs as they ended the inning with three hits and one run scored with two left on base.

 

Freshman Cassee Layne was the pitcher of record for MSU, falling to 4-5 on the year. Against 27 batters faced, Layne recorded five strikeouts while allowing five runs, two unearned, on five FAU hits.

 

Rose Gressley improved to 5-6 on the season with her win over the Spartans. Gressley struck out 10 batters and only allowed one earned run on five hits.

 

The Spartans responded early in game two by scoring the first run of the contest in the opening inning. Junior Lauren Kramer singled up the middle to drive in sophomore Kylene Hopkins from second base to put MSU ahead, 1-0.

 

After a two-run second inning to put it ahead 2-1, the Owls once again netted a five-run inning to hold the advantage over the Spartans. A sacrifice bunt by Taylor Fawbush started the fourth inning as she knocked in Parmerter. The next batter, Cari Curfman, grounded out to short, scoring Broyles to put FAU ahead, 4-1. Two batters later, Walker poked a double to left to bring home both Kerri Croney and Fawbush before Stovall singled to left to score Walker. FAU held a 7-1 advantage at the end of the fourth.

 

MSU pulled back within three at 7-4 when it three in the sixth. Junior Brett Williams recorded the first two RBIs when she singled down the line in left to score Hansen and Hopkins. Grant stepped up to the plate as the next batter and doubled down the left-field line to bring home Williams. Michigan State was unable to score additional runs as it ended the inning with three runs on three hits with one left on base.

 

Florida Atlantic scored the final run of the night in the bottom half of the sixth when Speerin singled to left to drive in Walker.

 

Sophomore Shelby Wise took the game two loss for the Green and White, falling to an even 1-1 on the year. Wise allowed three earned runs on six hits in 15 batters faced.

 

Fawbush stepped into the circle for the Owls in the second game and moved to 5-4 on the year with the win. Fawbush allowed four runs, three unearned, on five hits and recorded five strikeouts.

 

Michigan State returns to action on Friday, March 11 when it faces Middle Tennessee State in the first game of the Parents’ Weekend Classic. The Spartans will also face Hofstra, Buffalo, Rutgers and FAU while closing out their Spring Break trip in Boca Raton, Fla.