March 8, 2017
Box Score | PDF Box Score: MSU 7, GT 3
Michigan State used the long ball (repeatedly ) to down homestanding Georgia Tech, 7-3 on Wednesday night in Atlanta. Sarah Gutknecht tied the school record with a pair of home runs, and Lea Foerster and Kelly Zackrison each added round-trippers. Junior pitcher Bridgette Rainey threw six innings - including five-plus innings of no-hit ball - to earn her sixth win of the season.
The Spartans (13-4) had four hits in the game, and limited the home team to just four. Two of the three Yellow Jacket runs came via home run - a solo shot by pinch hitter Rebecca Prairie to break up the no-hitter in the fifth, and a solo shot in the sixth by Katie Krzus. Krzus added an RBI single in the seventh as well.
Valerie Kaff threw one inning of relief, surrendering just one hit and one run. She struck out two.
MSU plays at Georgia State on Thursday at 5 pm - the game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but rain postponed the game to Thursday afternoon.
Bridgette Rainey held a no-hitter through 5.1 innings, and threw six total, allowing just three hits and two runs, striking out eight.
.Sarah Gutknecht hit two home runs, her third and fourth of the season.
Lea Foerster hit her fifth homer of the season, and Kelly Zackrison launched the first round-tripper of her career.
"I liked the way we rebounded tonight after a weekend that didn't end the way we would have liked. Bridgette Rainey settled into a nice rhythm and went six strong innings, and it was important for us to get Val in for an inning. Any game that you can get four home runs is a good day at the plate - and Kelly Zackrison got rewarded for a lot of hard work by getting her first in a college uniform. Tonight kicks off five straight gamedays for us - so it was a good way to start it off.."
- Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
A pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second inning, but Rainey got Kelsey Chisholm to strike out for the second out of the inning. That brought the Yellow Jackets to the top of the lineup, and Samantha Pierannunzi popped out in the infield to end the threat.
In the top of the third, Melanie Baccay drew a two-out walk, and Lea Foerster launched a shot that cleared the right field wall to give MSU a 2-0 advantage. Sarah Gutknecht hit a one-out, two run shot in the top of the fourth to double the Spartan advantage. That spelled the end of the day for the second Yellow Jacket pitcher Brooke Barfield. who made way for Jenna Goodrich.
Rainey lost her no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth, when pinch hitter Rebecca Prairie hit a 2-1 pitch that just cleared the wall in left field for a home run. After a strikeout, Jessica Kowalewicz hit a clean shot up the left-field line for the second hit of the inning, but Rainey got Malea Bell to fly out to center to end the inning.
Gutknecht hit her second home run of the game in the top of the sixth inning., a solo shot,
The Spartans put together a rally in the top of the seventh. Kelly Zackrison hit a solo shot - her first home run as a Spartan - in the top of the seventh with one out. Melanie Baccay followed with a double to left center, and Foerster reached on an error. The Yellow Jackets shut it down from there, leaving one as they got Long to fly out to left and Celeste Wood to ground out.
Valerie Kaff entered in relief to start the seventh. A walk and a hit batter put two on for Krzus, who singled to right to bring home a third Georgia Tech run. Kaff struck out Crosby Huckabay to end the game and e
Gutknecht's two round-trippers ties the school single-game record, the 22nd time this has been accomplished. Gutknecht also had two HR in a game last April vs. Rutgers, and is one of four players to have two homers in a game multiple times - Caitlyn Mahoney did it three times , and Stacey Phillips and Gina Mondo both did it twice.
MSU has yet to suffer back-to-back losses this season.