EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – When Michigan State pitcher Ashely Miller took the circle against Ohio State this past Saturday, there was no telling she would have an incredible game. She struck out 12 Buckeye batters and pitched a complete game, helping the Spartans get their first Big Ten Conference win of the season.

When asking Miller about her special outing, she reflected on her softball career so far and how she’s finding her stride at the perfect time.

“I have been a late bloomer in my softball career so all growing up, I was kind of an underdog,” said Miller. “I mean, in high school, I didn’t pitch a lot and on my travel team, I was always the second or third pitcher. So it’s shown that all my hard work has becoming to pay off and that makes me really happy and it shows that if I can do this in softball, then I can do this in the rest of my life too.”

Michigan State Head Coach Jacquie Joseph, couldn’t be happier to have a pitcher who’s able to gain confidence with every inning.

“She’s a special talent, right and sometimes young athletes get a little bit sideways with their mentality and they forget how good they are,” said Joseph. “Boy, she just changed your mentality and went out and just performed like we know she can.”

Motivational tactics are part of what helps certain players with their confidence. Before Miller’s start on Saturday, the team needed a little bit of a pick me up and coach Joseph knew exactly what to say.

“We got to come out tomorrow and punch them in the mouth, it’s that simple,” said Joseph. “We got to come back. We got to get off this, you know, the Schneid here, and get a win.”

Pep talks like that are exactly what helps fire Miller up.

“We just need to go in and get the job done, basically what it means and we need to show that we can play the way we’re capable of,” said Miller.

“She knows me well enough now to know we’re both cut from the same cloth, we both want to win,” said Joseph.

“Well, there’s been some games this year that we’ve kind of beaten ourselves instead of gotten beat,” said Miller. “So that’s another way that she incorporates that we just need to go out and play our game and show that we can beat them and we did it on Saturday.”