Softball blown out by Michigan State in last-minute matchup


Jose Juarez

Oakland softball lost via mercy rule to the Michigan State Spartans on Sunday. Photo courtesy of OU Athletics.

The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies softball team suffered a tough 9-0 loss to the Michigan State Spartans on March 20 at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, MI.

The game was scheduled after Oakland had their weekend series against IUPUI canceled due to inclement weather.

The Grizzlies began the first inning on the offensive side with three consecutive strikeouts. This bitter start left spectators wondering whether or not the Oakland team would be able to fire up their bats against the MSU defensive powerhouse. 

The Spartans started their offensive game off strong with a double to left-center from the bat of Courtney Callahan. Despite strong subsequent hits from the MSU team, the Grizzlies displayed their stellar athleticism in the field, causing both teams to emerge the first inning scoreless.

Both teams continued to struggle offensively in the second inning. The board remained scoreless as neither the Grizzlies or Spartans were able to send hits out of the infield.

In the bottom of the third, the Grizzlies finally allowed the Spartans to score off an RBI single from Alexis Barroso. Barroso’s hit advanced two runners home, placing the Spartans at a 2-0 lead.

The fourth inning saw a glimmer of hope for the Grizzlies, as Cammie Brummitt advanced to first base due to a Spartan fielding error. Unfortunately, Brummitt’s baserunning potential was never tapped into; the Grizzlies’ offense finished the inning with two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Spartans looked to expand their lead. After beaming a single to right-center, Caitie Ladd advanced to first base for the Spartans.

Ladd stole second base and then advanced to third off a sacrifice bunt. The Grizzlies defensive team ended the inning as catcher Jen Krizka tagged Ladd out after an assist from third baseman Madison Jones.

In the fifth inning, the Grizzlies fought hard to gain control of the game. Although a hit to second base allowed Jessie Munson to advance to first, the Grizzlies failed to fire up their bats, causing them to emerge the inning scoreless.

The Spartans sealed the game’s outcome in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a two-run RBI double to left-center from Alexis Barroso and a defensive error from the Grizzlies gave up another run, the Spartans grew their lead.

MSU’s fifth-inning rally continued as a subsequent error and walk from the Grizzlies defensive team allowed the Spartans to load the bases. Then, freshman Kayleigh Roper stepped up to the plate.

Roper sent a fly ball past the fence, gaining four runs for the Spartans in the process. This walk-off grand slam ended the game, securing a 9-0 win for the MSU team via mercy rule.

Oakland will play their next three-game series against Youngstown State University on the Oakland Softball Field in Rochester on March 25-26. Oakland must be prepared for a challenge as they handle the poised Penguins, a team that walked away as the Horizon League’s regular-season champion in 2021.