March 4, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: CSF 8, MSU 7
Michigan State suffered its second straight walkoff loss, falling 8-7 at Cal State Fullerton in the bottom of the seventh inning. MSU falls to 9-8 on the year, and the Titans are 8-9.
Fullerton got a bases-loaded, two-out single to right center by Emily Randall to give the home team the victory. MSU built a five-run lead early, saw the Titans pull ahead, and then scored twice to take a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning.
MIchigan State scored in every inning but the second and seventh, and had a baserunner in every frame. Conversely, the TItans consolidated all their scoring into two frames, plating six in the fourth and two in the seventh The Spartans tied their season best with 11 base hits in the game, but left 15 on base compared to just five by Fullerton.
The Spartans plated two runs in both the first and fourth innings and a single score in the third to build a 5-0 lead, but the home team staged a fierce rally in the bottom of the fifth. The Titans put together six runs - all with two outs on the board - to take their first lead of the game. MSU scored single runs in the fifth and sixth, but couldn't hold off the late rally that gave the home team the win.
Kristina Zalewski (3-4) took the loss, allowing just the one base hit. Kenzie Grimes earned the win, her first of the season (1-4).
The Spartans had an abbreviated schedule at the Judi Garman Classic, as travel woes forced the cancellation of the Friday game vs. No. 2 Florida. A lighting issue on the secondary field on Saturday cost MSU a matchup with No. 18/17 Louisiana.
MSU returns to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday for another showdown with the TItans. First pitch scheduled for 6 pm PT.
Lea Foerster hit her third home run of the season and finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Kaitlyn Eveland had a pair of hits, a walk, and two assists.
McKenzie Long went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk.
STATS AND STORYLINES
Lea Foerster (hit) and Ebonee Echols (HBP) reached safely to start off the top of the first, and Caitie Ladd singled to center after the Titans had recorded the first out of the frame. A wild pitch allowed Foerster to score from third for the first run of the game, and moved Echols and Ladd to third and second respectively. McKenzie Long hit a high chopper that would have been a base hit, but was called out for being out of the batter's box. Hannah Johnson walked Riley Paxson to load the bases, and then hit Melanie Baccay to plate a second Spartan run. A pitching change for the Titans brought Taylor Dockins into the circle, and she got Besson to line out to third for the final out of the inning.
The home half of the first started with Brooke Clemetson legging out an infield single with a slow roller to first, then stealing second. After Sammie Vandiver walked, Deshea Hill hit a hard ball to center that was caught by a diving Foerster, and then MSU doubled off off Vandiver, who left early from second and was called out once the Spartans tagged the bag. Rainey got Zoe Richard to go down swinging for the third out of the inning.
MSU had a pair of baserunners in the top of the second on a single and a walk, but couldn't get anything past third base. A leadoff double by Ari Williams gave the home team a baserunner in scoring position in the home half of the frame, and she moved to third on a sac bunt. A screamer up the left field line by Bryanna Ybarra was snagged by Eveland and she tagged Williams for the second out of the inning, and Rainey struck out Emily Randall for the third out of the inning.
The Spartans loaded the bases again in the top of the third. A leadoff single by McKenzie Long was followed by Riley Paxson reaching on an error, and after Paxson was replaced by Callahan as a pinch runner, the pair advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. Baccay reached on a fielder's choice as the play nabbed Long at home. A bunt single by Joanna Bartz loaded the bases, and Katie Quinlan reached on a fielder's choice as the Titans got the force play at the plate to keep another run off the board. With the bases loaded, Lea Foerster was hit by a pitch to bring home a run - the second time an HBP brought a run across for MSU. in the game. Dockins got Echols to line out to short to end the inning.
Eveland was just barely nipped at first to lead off the fourth, but Dockins walked two of the next three battters and allowed a single to McKenzie Long, loading the bases with one out. Melanie Baccay reached on a fielder's choice as the Titans went to second for the force, scoring Ladd for a 4-0 lead. Lindsey Besson singled up the middle to plate a fifth run, leaving runners at first and second. Two runs would be all for the Spartans in the frame.
Fullerton put the first two runners on in the bottom of the fifth on a single and a walk, but Rainey got Brannan looking at a called third strike and Ybarra to fly out to right for two quick outs. Pinch hitter Janelle Rodriquez reached on a fielder's choice, as the ball went to short; the throw to third bounced off the runner's helmet and into the Fullerton dugout, scoring a run. A walk loaded the bases and brought the top of the Fullerton order to the plate. Clementson's bouncer to second allowed her to leg out an RBI single to make it a 5-2 ballgame, and Vandiver followed with a bloop single into second that scored two more to pull the home team within a run. Hill followed that with a two-run single into left that brought home two more, giving the home team their first lead of the game. The Spartans made a pitching change, bringing in sophomore Jordan Watson. She got the ground ball to first to end the inning, but not before the two -out, six-run rally for the home team gave Fullerton its first lead of the day.
Foerster led off the top of the fifth inning with a home run to center field, tying the game at 6-6.
The Spartans generated a go-ahead run quickly in the sixth. Baccay walked, and Besson sacrificed her over to second. Katie Quinlan legged out a bunt single, and a dropped ball at first allowedBaccay to come all away around to score to make it 7-6 in favor of the visitors.
The TItans got a single into left center by Hill to lead off the seventh. and a single into left by Williams put runners at the corners. Williams stole second, and the Spartans made a pitching change - Kristina Zalewski came on as the third MSU pitcher on the day. She walked Brannan on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, and Ybarra's ground ball to second was quickly sent home by Baccay to get the force at home for the second out of the inning. Randall singled into center to bring home the two runs that gave the Titans the walkoff victory.