Michigan State softball goes 2-2 in Jacksonville


MSU infielder Camryn Wincher swings at a pitch during a scrimmage against Notre Dame on Oct. 9, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Elaine Smith, General Assignment Reporter

Michigan State softball went 2-2 this weekend in Jacksonville to improve its overall record to 5-4. The Spartans took victories against Mercer and Jacksonville but fell short to North Florida in the final two games of the weekend. Due to rain postponements on Friday, the Spartans only faced Jacksonville once, instead of the scheduled two games. 

Michigan State started off the weekend strong with a 2-1 victory over the Mercer Bears. The Spartans found the lead early in the first inning when freshman Macy Lee hit a double to bring home junior Camryn Wincher. They held onto the lead until the seventh when the Bears put themselves on the board. 

Wincher finalized the Spartans’ win with a single to center to bring home senior Jessica Marbey early in the eighth. Wincher went 3-for-4 at the plate against the Bears. Sophomore Ashley Miller threw out the final batter to clinch the win, striking out 12 total to improve her record to 4-0. 

MSU pitcher Ashley Miller delivers the ball during a scrimmage against Notre Dame on Oct. 9, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

The Spartans dominated their game against Jacksonville with a 10-2 win, with senior Mackenzie Meech, Lee and Wincher all recording home runs. Lee’s homer was the first of her career as a Spartan. Wincher’s hit rocketed out of the park with bases loaded for a grand slam in the fourth. She went 6-for-7 on Saturday with three hits in each game, leading the Spartans with a .579 batting average. 

The Dolphins tied up the game in the third with two doubles, but the Spartans answered hard, tacking eight in the fifth to solidify their win. Eight Spartans put themselves on base, including Wincher, Lee, Meech, senior Caitie Ladd, senior Kendall Kates, senior Jessica Mabrey, sophomore Alexis Barroso and freshman Kayleigh Roper. Both Lee and Barosso went 2-for-3 on the plate. 

Michigan State battled hard against North Florida but ultimately ended with two 4-3 losses. In Game 1, Lee, Wincher and senior Courtney Callahan went 1-for-3 at-bat with Wincher and Lee recording one RBI each. Wincher led the defense with nine put-outs. 

The Spartans got on the board early with three runs in the first inning. North Florida answered in the third, tying the score 3-3. The score remained neck and neck until the sixth inning when the Ospreys’ Takiya London hit a sacrifice bunt to bring Hayley Bejarano home to take the lead.

MSU junior Sarah Ladd, who came in to pitch in relief for Miller in the sixth, struck out the last batter, but it was too late. The Spartans fell 4-3 in a close match.

The second game against North Florida also ended in a 4-3 loss. The game went into eighth inning overtime, where the Spartans failed to equalize the score and fell short by just one point. 

MSU pitcher Sarah Ladd winds up for a pitch during a game/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

MSU got on the board early with a single by Wincher to bring home Mabrey, but the Ospreys quickly tied the score. They were able to take a 2-1 lead until the Spartans caught up with a single by Mabrey, bringing Ladd home to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime.

Meech hit a grounder out to shortstop to bring Callahan home to take a 3-2 lead at the top of the eighth. The Spartans ultimately failed to take home the win when an error tied the game 3-3. The Ospreys finalized the score 4-3 to sweep the Spartans.  

The Spartans hope to improve their record next weekend when they go back to Florida to face LIU, Kentucky, Jacksonville, Florida Atlantic and Columbia.