March 7, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: Fullerton 7, MSU 1
Michigan State dropped its third straight game, a 7-1 decision at Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday evening.
MSU surrendered a season-high 12 base hits to the TItans, and despite nine base hits, the Spartans stranded 13 runners in the contest. The home team scored twice in each of the first two innings, and put at least one run on the board in five of their six at-bats.
Kaitlyn Eveland went 3-for-3 with a walk to lead MSU, recording three putouts and a pair of assists in the field. Lindsey Besson had an RBI single for MSU, which plated its lone run in the second inning. MSU got the first two batters on base in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings, and left the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Sophie Frost went the distance for Cal State Fullerton, scattering nine hits and walking six, striking out three. Bridgette Rainey started the game and took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) nd walking two. Freshman McKenna Gregory saw her first collegiate action, going 1.2 innings and scattering five hits. Jordan Watson finished the game, going the final three innings and allowing five hits.
MSU is off on Wednesday, and returns to action on Thursday at the Louisville Slugger Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State. MSU takes on the host school on Thursday, No. 3 UCLA on Friday, and San Diego State on Saturday to wrap up Spring Break.
Kaitlyn Eveland went 3-for-3 with a walk.
Lindsey Besson had an RBI single in the second inning.
Katie Quinlan went 1-for-2 after entering the game in the fourth inning.
"We have seen glimpses of what we are capable of in every aspect of the game - our problem has been putting them together consistently. We need to focus on getting everything firing at the same time, and we're certainly working toward that. We have two ranked opponents coming up this weekend, and a day of practice where we'll work on those things."
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
A pair of walks, a Spartan error, and an RBI single by Bryanna Ybarra gave the home team a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
MSU countered immediately in the second. McKenzie Long walked, then took second and third on a pair of wild pitches. She came home on an RBI single to center by Lindsey Besson.
The Titans got the run back in the bottom of the second. A leadoff walk, stolen base, and sac bunt brought Shianne Brannan around to third, and she scored on a wild pitch with one out. Brooke Clemetson doubled to center, which forced a Spartan pitching change - freshman McKenna Gregory made her collegiate debut, entering with one on and one out. She surrendered an infield single to Sammie Vandiver, and got some help from Besson when she gunned down Clemetson trying to steal third. Desha Hill singled to bring home Vandiver for a 4-0 lead for the home team, but retired Zoe Richard with a fly ball to left to end the inning.
Fullerton struck again in the third. Gregory got the first two ous of the inning on comebackers to the circle, but then surrendered three straight base hits, plating a fifth run.
MSU looked to start a rally in the top of the fourth. Caitie Ladd and Katie Quinlan singled to lead off the inning and Besson laid down a sac bunt to move them into scoring position. Joanna Bartz came on as a pinch hitter and walked to load the bases, but the Spartans couldn't get another run across and headed to the bottom of the fifth with a 5-1 deficit.
Jordan Watson had entered the game to relieve Gregory for the bottom of the fourth inning, and surrendered a homer to the first batter she faced. (Hill) and a ground-rule double to Richard. Williams popped up to short and the Spartans doubled off Richard to quickly put two outs on the board and erase any baserunners. A ground ball to third ended the inning.
MSU got the first two batters on in the top of the sixth, as Katie Quinlan and pinch hitter Kelly Zackrison each reached on infield singles. Baccay moved them into scoring position with a ground ball for the first out of the inning, but the TItans retired the next two batters to keep the Spartans off the board.
A leadoff double to Vandiver started the Titan sixth. Hill followed with a single to center, and Vandiver turned the corner at third to come home. She tripped en route to the plate, making her an easy target for Besson to tag out. Williams followed with a single to bring home Hill for the 7-1 lead.
Kaitlyn Eveland and Riley Paxon gave MSU its first two runners on base for the third time in the game in the top of the seventh inning. Pitcher Sophie Frost got the next two batters, but then walked Lexi White to load the bases before retiring the side on a comebacker to the circle.
Besson recorded eighth runner caught stealing of the season, her career best.