EAST LANSING, Mich. - Despite a strong performance from starting pitcher Megan Hair, the Michigan State softball team (13-22, 0-9 Big Ten) fell, 5-2, in eight innings to Indiana Sunday at Old College Field. Hair pitched the complete game for the Spartans, striking out a season-high six batters, while freshman Brett Williams posted a career-high two RBIs.
Hair flirted with a no-hitter early, holding the Hoosiers without a hit through the first four innings. MSU had a chance to strike first in the bottom of the opening frame when leadoff batter sophomore Jessica Bracamonte hit a single just past first base. Senior Kara Weigle then reached first on a fielder's choice while Bracamonte was retired for the first out. A single from sophomore Lindsey Hansen put two runners on base, and both players advanced another base on a throwing error. With runners on second and third, Indiana pitcher Ashley Hobbs retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.
The Spartans scored first in the fourth inning, posting two runs on four hits. After Hobbs sent the first batter back to the dugout, junior Kelly Confer hit a single and freshman Lori Padilla advanced both with a sacrifice bunt. Classmate Melanie Bensema then singled to right field to load the bases and Hobbs retired the next batter. With two outs, Williams, who pinch hit for Karen Fox, hit a single to left field, scoring Confer and Padilla. The threat continued, but a strikeout by Hobbs left two on base and got the IU pitcher out of the inning with minimal damage.
Indiana responded the next inning, notching two runs on two hits; both Kelli Ritchison and Emily Bergeson recording the RBIs.
Both teams remained scoreless through the sixth and seventh innings, sending the game into extra innings. The Hoosiers struck right away in the eighth, scoring three runs on three hits, while Hobbs retired the three Spartan batters in the bottom of the inning for the win.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday, April 14 at 4 p.m. when they host Bowling Green at Old College Field.