MSU softball returns to Secchia Stadium, defeats Oakland 4-3


The Michigan State Spartans ahead of their game against Oakland on April 4, 2023. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Colby Schikora, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – After a weekend that Michigan State softball would like to forget against Maryland, the Spartans got back in the win column, winning a tight contest with Oakland University, 4-3. 

The Spartans entered this standalone matchup sitting at 10-17 overall, with Oakland holding a 7-10 record. MSU is coming off a three game road trip in which they were outscored 22-0 to Maryland. Oakland came to Secchia Stadium after splitting a pair of games with Youngstown State. 

It was a big day for one Spartan in particular, as freshman Hailey Bila recorded her first at bat in collegiate softball, and the first hit of her young career. After the game, Bila was all smiles. 

“Honestly, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a really long time now,” said Bila. “I’ve had a lot of support from my teammates. As soon as my name got called to be in the lineup, they (teammates) were cheering for me.”

The first inning saw most of the scoring, as Oakland opened with an RBI single. The Spartans scored all four of their runs in the opening inning, starting with a leadoff homer from senior Jessica Mabrey. Junior Jenae Wash and Colette Allen, and senior Anna Fox all followed with RBI’s, stretching the Spartans lead.

Oakland pitcher Sydney Campbell came in to pitch in relief for starter Mia Konyvka in the first inning, and was dealing for the rest of the game against the Spartans. Campbell finished with just over five innings pitched, only allowing three hits while striking out two. 

Pitcher Madison Taylor threw six full innings for the Spartans, only giving up three runs and tying her career high in strikeouts with four. Postgame, Taylor described how she was able to stay composed after giving up runs. 

“Just trusting my teammates and working through it…staying confident,” said Taylor. 

First year head coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley spoke on how the team bounced back after struggling the previous weekend. 

“Anytime you can get a win on the ballfield, it’s huge. We just take each piece that we liked, build on it and move forward.”

With the win, Michigan State moved to 11-17 on the season, with Oakland falling to 7-11. 

The Spartans’ showdown with Michigan on Wednesday is canceled due to inclement weather. MSU will face Iowa in a three game series this weekend, beginning with a 5:00 pm first pitch at Secchia Stadium on Friday.