With a scoreless game until the top of the fifth, the Spartans held their own against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as MSU lost 2-0 on Friday at Secchia Stadium.
Freshman pitcher Valerie Kaff threw her 10th complete game of the season, scattering five hits.
“You don’t have to go very far to appreciate the pitching performance from Valerie Kaff,” MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph said. “I cannot underestimate how powerful Nebraska’s line up is. To hold them to five hits, I was pretty impressed with her.”
The Spartans had a missed opportunity in the bottom of the third. With junior Alyssa McBride on first, red shirt junior Stephanie Sanders hit a single out to left field. The left fielder bobbled the ball and McBride headed home, but Nebraska centerfielder Kiki Stokes made sure that the ball got there first and ended the inning.
MSU stranded a total of eight runners. The Spartans had the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth with just one out, but were never able to bring anyone home and ended the inning with three runners left on base.
Nebraska took the lead in the top of the fifth. Taylor Edwards sent a double into left field, which allowed Stokes to score.
The Huskers kept their momentum going in the sixth, with Tatum Edwards earning the final run.
“I have to give credit to their pitcher, Tatum Edwards. She bent, but did not break,” Joseph said. “She got herself out of every jam and that’s what great teams do.”
The Spartans and the Huskers face off again on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Secchia Stadium.
Katie Morang is the host of In the Circle for Impact Sports.
Photos: Hannah McEnroe/Impact Sports