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Spartans Win Sixth Straight, Down FIU 2-0

Feb. 25, 2018

Box Score | PDF Box: MSU 2, FIU 0 Get Acrobat Reader





SPARTAN SYNOPSIS

Michigan State closed out the FIU classic on Sunday with a 2-0 win over the host Panthers, finishing out the weekend 5-0 and improving to 8-6 on the season.

The game promised from the outset to be a pitchers duel - Shannon Saile, the nation's leader in strikeouts with a 1.03 ERA entering the weekend was the starter for FIU, and faced off with Zalewski, who brought a 1.14 ERA into the game, in search of her third victory of the weekend. The two hurlers worked through jams and tied up opposing hitters - the Panthers twice loaded the bases with one out, but Zalewski worked her way out of trouble, striking out seven and walking two, scattering six hits. Siele did her part in befuddling the Spartan hitters, striking out eight and walking one, allowing just three base hits.

Ladd hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, her second round-tripper of the weekend, which was the deciding offense in the game. Kelcey Carrasco had reached base on a hit by pitch, and Ladd followed with a jack that sailed over the left-field wall.

MSU heads to California next weekend to begin its spring break. The Spartans will take part in the Judy Garman Invitational at Cal State Fullerton, opening with No. 2 Florida on Friday morning.


TOP PERFORMERS

  • Caitie Ladd hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning that stood as the only runs of the game.
  • Kaitlyn Eveland and Melanie Baccay each had base hits.
  • Kristina Zalewski earned her third win of the weekend (3-3), striking out seven and walking two. It was her fifth complete game of the season and the first shutout.


    QUOTABLE

    "We talked about finishing strong today. We're seeing what we're capable of, and it's very promising. We had strong pitching all weekend, our offense came together, and we showed composure in facing different types of games and pitchers. FIU's pitcher was a tough one - we knew we were going to get her best today. Z [Kristina Zalewski] was also really good today too - she worked out of jams and stuck to the game plan. All in all, it was a good weekend for us. We know we're going to be challenged with our schedule when we get to California."

    Head Coach Jacquie Joseph

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    STATS AND STORYLINES

  • Both pitchers struck out the side in the first inning, setting the table for the pitcher's duel that was on tap.

  • MSU tried to start a rally in the third, but couldn't get anything going. In the bottom of the frame, FIU loaded the bases on three singles with one out. Jessica Rivera struck out - Zalewski's fifth of the day - for the second out of the inning, and Julia Gilbert flew out to left center to keep the game scoreless.

  • The Spartans got on the scoreboard first, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Kelcey Carrasco was hit by a pitch, and Caitie Ladd hit sent a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left field. It was the first hit of the game surrendered by Siele.

  • Erin Eiland led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, the first hit for the Panthers since the third inning. A one-out single by AnnMarie Cooker and a two-out walk to Venessa Gallegos loaded the bases for FIU, putting Michaela Mills in the box with an opportunity to cut into the lead. She sent a ground ball to third, which Eveland corralled and stepped on the base for the forceout to end the inning.

  • Zalewski allowed a walk in the seventh to give FIU a baserunner, but the Panthers couldn't get the runner to second.

  • The Panthers left eight runners in the game, compared to just four for MSU. Neither team committed an error.
     

     

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