MSU Softball Looks Ahead to Big Ten Play

After spending the last month and a half immersed in non-conference play, the Spartans will finally return to familiar territory when they head to Lincoln to take on Nebraska in what will be the Big Ten opener for both teams.

The Spartans and Huskers have met seven times in the past with all seven games going to Nebraska.

The Huskers finished the non conference portion of their season with a 12-12 overall. Despite their .500 record, head coach Jacquie Joseph had nothing but praise for the “College World Series quality” team.

“The thing about Nebraska is they have a tremendous program,” Joseph said. “It’s very difficult to win there, but were looking forward to the challenge.”

In order to open the Big Ten season on a high note Joseph says the team needs to execute.

“We have to be clicking on all cylinders,” Joseph said. “We really have to play our absolute best to have any success there at all.”

The Spartans, who have been traveling to and from East Lansing, Michigan since early February, finished non conference play with a 15-12 record.

Despite that tiring travel, junior infielder Jacquie Reiser, who hit her first career home run last weekend against Alabama A&M, says the team has learned a lot about themselves so far this season.

“We can compete with anyone,” said Reiser. “We beat a top 25 ranked (team) and if we keep having those days where we keep putting the ball in play then were going to be really successful.”

The Spartans struggled last season, finishing with a 12-37 overall record, 4-19 in conference play, and were eliminated in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. However, with an improved pitching staff and a solidified lineup it is clear that the team has put last year behind them and is ready to come out and build off of a successful pre-season.

First pitch from Lincoln is scheduled for 6:30p.m. Friday.

Photo: Hannah McEnroe/MSU Impact Sports