Michigan State softball falls to Notre Dame, 8-0


Hailey Bila runs back to 1st base during Michigan State’s 4-3 victory over Oakland on April 4, 2023. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Joseph DesVergnes (Joe Dez), Softball Beat Reporter

MSU softball attempted to end its three game losing streak, facing off against the Fighting Irish on Tuesday afternoon. In six innings, the Spartans were defeated 8-0. 

“I thought today was a good moment for our bats,” said MSU head coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley. “They got going a little bit better than I’ve seen them. It didn’t really show much on the scoreboard, but I think it’s really something that we can build on.”

Notre Dame got off to a strong start, obtaining a three-run lead in just the first inning. Carlli Kloss and Joley Michell stole second base in the first, placing themselves in scoring position. Both players capitalized, scoring the first two runs of the game for the Fighting Irish, with graduate student Lexi Orozco running in the final score of the inning on a single from Macie Eck. 

The second inning served as a slight bright spot for the Spartans, who held Notre Dame to a 1-2-3 inning. 

Notre Dame brought out the theatrics for the third inning, with junior Karina Gaskins sending a home run out of Secchia Stadium in the first at-bat of the inning. The Spartans appeared to mitigate the damage, sitting on two outs with Leea Hanks on first after a fielder’s choice. Anna Holloway hit the second home run of the inning for Notre Dame, and her second of the season. 

After a scoreless fourth inning from both sides, Jane Kronenberger added another run to Notre Dame’s total, stretching the lead to seven going into the bottom of the fifth.

Leea Hanks scored the final run of the game for Notre Dame at the top of the sixth, stretching their lead to eight and ending the inning with a double play, causing the mercy rule to come into play to secure the Fighting Irish victory. The victory was the 849th win for head coach Deanna Gumpf, setting a new record for wins by a Notre Dame softball head coach.

Michigan State will return to Secchia Stadium on Wednesday, April 12th at 5:00 p.m. to face off against in-state rival, the Michigan Wolverines.

“We think this Michigan team is a team that we matchup well against, but you kinda throw all of the records…all of the things out the door when it comes to rivalries…so we’re just excited to go play it,” said MSU’s head coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley.