March 3, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: MSU 4, Stanford 2
Anaheim native Kaitlyn Eveland hit a two-out walkoff two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel Michigan State to a 4-2 victory over Stanford on Saturday afternoon at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
The Spartans won their seventh straight game and improved to 9-6 on the season. Stanford is now 13-8 on the year.
Eveland stood in with the game tied 2-2 and the Spartans down to their final out, with pinch runner Katie Quinlan on first base after Lea Foerster drew a one-out walk. Eveland sent a 2-0 pitch over the wall in dead center field, scoring Quinlan , sending the more than 100 families, friends, and Spartan alumni into a frenzy in the stands. The Cardinal took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, with Bridgette Rainey working out of jams and stranding six Stanford baserunners over the first three frames. MSU scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on infield singles by Caitie Ladd and McKenzie Long. The Cardinal tied the game in the top of the fifth on a double, sac bunt, and single into left.
Jordan Watson (2-1) entered the game in the fifth inning for the Spartans and allowed just one hit, striking out two and facing just six batters. Rainey went five innings and allowed eight hits, striking out six and allowing both Stanford runs, both earned. Kiana Pancino took the loss for the Cardinal, scattering five hits, three strikeouts, and three walks in 3.1 innings.
Kaitlyn Eveland walked twice and hit the two-run walkoff homer.
Caitie Ladd had a pair of base hits, including an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Jordan Watson earned the win with a two-inning relief effort, allowing one base hit and striking out two.
"I thought we started today maybe a bit tentative, but I thought we were making good contact with the ball and really having good at-bats. The best thing was that we were ready to compete and did so from the first to the final pitch. That's a good Stanford team with a coach who came from the Big Ten and is familiar with our program.
I'm disappointed that we're not going to play Louisiana today - that's the second game this weekend against a ranked opponent that had to be taken off our schedule. We want to see how we stack up, how we compete against those nationally-ranked teams. We are going to try to reschedule it, but the decisions won't be made until Sunday."
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
A pair of walks and two base hits allowed Stanford to get on the board in the top of the first, with Kristina Inouye singling to center for the RBI. Rainey got the third out on a strikeout to get out of the inning with runners at the corners.
Stanford tried to rally again in the second. Rainey got Lauren Wegner to go down on strikes, but then surrendered back-to-back singles. A sac bunt by Alyssa Horeczko moved the two runners into scoring position, and a walk loaded the bases with two out. Rainey got Montana Dixon to go down on strikes to end the inning. In the third, Inouye laced a one-out double to right center, but Rainey retired the next two batters. Stanford stranded six batters through the first three innings.
Ebonee Echols smacked a one-out triple in the bottom of the fourth, and Eveland followed with a walk to put runners on the corners. The Cardinal made a pitching change, bringing on Kiana Pancino to relieve Maddy Dwyer. Carrasco came to the plate and grounded to third, moving Eveland to second with two outs. Caitie Ladd popped one that fell in front of the second baseman to bring home Echols from third and knot the game 1-1. McKenzie Long laid down a perfect bunt that brought home Eveland, and Ladd went to third. Pinch hitter Lexi White struck out to end the inning with two batters on base, but the Spartans had taken a 2-1 lead.
A leadoff double for Whitney Burks and a sac bunt by Inoyue put the tying run on third for the Cardinal with one out in the top of the fifth. Rainey got a ground ball back to the circle for the second out of the inning, but a single by Lauren Wegner brought Burks home from third to tie the game.
Jordan Watson entered for Rainey in the top of the sixth. Molly Fowkes singled, but was caught stealing second on a great throw by Besson for the second out of the inning, and Watson got a ground ball to first to end the visitor half of the frame.
The Spartans loaded the bases in the top of the sixth - walks to Kaitlyn Eveland and McKenzie Long sandwiched around a single to left by Ladd had three on with just one out. Pancino got Joyner to go down swinging for the second out of the inning, and pinch hitter Jordan Davis flew out to foul territory in left for the third out of the inning.
Lea Foerster drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh, and was replaced by pinch runner Katie Quinlan. After Pancino got Echols to go down swinging, Eveland stepped in and crushed a 2-0 pitch over the wall in dead center to win the game.
MSU has now had two walkoff wins this season - the Spartans downed Northern Illinois in the first weekend of the season, and also lost an extra-inning game to Georgetown in the bottom of the ninth.
The Spartans had a relief pitching performance for just the third time in 15 games. Jordan Watson earned the win in relief to improve to 2-1.
Senior catcher Lindsey Besson threw out two runners to improve to seven runners caught stealing on the season - the most in any single season in her career.