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Spartan Softball Advances in BTT – Edges Indiana in Roller Coaster Event
May 11th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

In a game of big innings, the Michigan State Spartan Women’s Softball team garnered the biggest the latest and beat Indiana 8-7 to advance in the 2017 B1G Tournament Championship.

MSU (30-21) takes on the #2 Wolverines of Michigan Friday afternoon in Ann Arbor (4:30 PM EDT BTN).  The box score is [here].  I like their chances in this game.

After taking and losing a 3 run lead, only to come back and tie the game, only to fall behind by 3 after 5 1/2 innings, the Spartans scored 4 unanswered runs in the bottom of the 6th.

While the Spartans are a solid hitting team, it would be their ability to take a Walk that proved to be the difference.  Indiana Sophomore Starting Pitcher Tara Trainer had difficulty finding the Strike Zone; walking nine (yes the number 9) batters in 5 2/3 innings.  Four Walks were granted in the 6th; including three in-a-row.

Junior Bridgette Rainey (14-8) earned the victory – pitching solid five innings in relief.  On the premise the normally reliable Starter Kristen Zalewski (8-6) could handle the (23-31) Hoosiers, Rainey, from Acworth Georgia was likely being held back for UofM (at least that is my guess).  Zalewski struggled… enter Rainey.

Jeff’s Worthless Trivia

Three Spartans were named to the All-B1G team for 2017: Junior Lea Foerster (1st team), Sophomore Kaitlyn Eveland, and Junior McKenzie Long. The full story is [here].

Foerster has had a monster 2017 season; including 14 HR’s and 21 doubles.  Both are #2 in MSU history.  This kind of power has not been seen by TUS membership since ’79 Spartan dominated the Western Nebraska Men’s Over 40 League as SS for the Ogallala, NE (non) Conscientious Objectors. ’79 had been traded to the nCOs the previous season from the North Platte NE RiverRatRafters in the headline making 37 player + Mini Van + Outdoor Grill deal.

A tip-of-the-hat is due to Rainey and Head coach Jacquie Joseph.  Why? For not giving up.  Rainey earned a position in the starting rotation as a freshman.  In almost any setting this is a huge deal – let alone Divsion 1, and B1G Conference Softball. Unfortunately, the Spartans had a horrible season – let’s leave it at that. Rainey was saddled with a 2-15 record.


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