MSU softball swept by Indiana, falls 7-2 in series finale

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Erin Grady

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State softball team took the field Sunday afternoon to finish up a weekend series against Big Ten opponent Indiana.

The Spartans were looking to bounce back after losses on Friday and Saturday, but Indiana pitcher Brianna Copeland struck out 12 to lead the Hoosiers to a 7-2 victory and a series sweep.

“Obviously we didn’t come out on top of these games, but we have more to give, which is frustrating but it’s something to be hopeful about,” head coach Sharonda McDonald-Kelley said.

Indiana wasted no time getting a run on the board after Copeland, the first batter of the day, hit a home run to deep left field. The home run kicked off a four-run rally that forced MSU’s starting pitcher Faith Guidry out of the circle to be replaced by junior Madison Taylor. The left-handed pitcher threw eight strikeouts and allowed only one earned run in seven innings.

“She (Madison) did a really good job of attacking their hitters and throwing her change up in the right places and getting some big strikeouts,” McDonald-Kelley said. “We just didn’t play good enough defense behind her, but she did a really good job of managing her emotions and managing what she needs to do.”

Michigan State quickly responded in the bottom of the first with a solo home run from sophomore Sydney Doloszycki, who also homered in Saturday’s game, to move the score to 4-1.

“I am working really hard to just try to produce something for my team, and hopefully everything will keep unraveling,” Doloszycki said.

After two scoreless innings, Indiana’s Taylor Minnick hit a liner in the right-field gap to score Alex Cooper and add another run to the board for the Hoosiers in the top of the fourth.

In the sixth inning, Doloszycki connected for her second hit of the day with a single to left field. Then, with two outs, sophomore Britain Beshears battled in the box to smash a double, scoring Doloszycki and giving the Spartans their first run since the first.

The score would not stay 5-2 for long as the Hoosiers went up 7-2 after a few errors from the Spartans. Taylor put out the fire for MSU, pitching back-to-back strikeouts with bases loaded to hold Indiana to only two runs in the top of the seventh.

MSU could not bounce back in the last inning, and Indiana swept the three-game series.

“We’re going to go back to work and figure out what we do next,” McDonald-Kelley said. “We play Michigan on Tuesday, and they’re a tough team, but it’s at home, it’s a rivalry, and it should be fun, so it’s time to get back to work.”

The Spartans, now 13-22 on the season, look to get back into the win column when they host rival Michigan on Tuesday, Apr. 9 at Secchia Stadium.

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