March 8, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: LBSU 4, MSU 2
A four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning propelled No. 21 Long Beach State to a 4-2 win over visiting Michigan State on Thursday.
The Spartans (9-10) and 49'ers (17-5) were scoreless through four innings, with both pitchers keeping the opposing offenses in check. The Spartans took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth when LBSU reliever Jessica Flores walked in two runs. In the bottom of the sixth, the home team used a pair of MSU errors and three base hits to stage the four-run rally to pull ahead.
MSU had baserunners in every inning, including leaving the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings. In all, the Spartans stranded 12 runners on the day.
Ebonee Echols led MSU with a pair of base hits, while Le Foerster and Kaitlyn Eveland were both walked twice. Foerster had a leadoff double in the first and was also hit by a pitch.
Kristina Zalewski was the pitcher of record (3-5), scattering six hits over 5.1 innings. Jordan Watson faced four batters, allowing one hit and one run.
MSU will tangle with No. 3 UCLA on Friday at 9 am PT in Long Beach, Calif.
Ebonee Echols had a pair of base hits.
Lea Foerster had a leadoff double, walked twice, and was hit by a pitch.
Kristina Zalewski went 5.1 innings and took the loss despite scattering six hits, striking out three, and allowing just two erned runs.
"There were lots of good things today, but we obviously are having trouble with the timely hits that are going to score runs. We're leaving double-digit runners, which is just not a recipe for success. As I said at the end of last weekend, there are glimpses of what we are capable of, but we just have not put things together with any consistency."
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
Lea Foerster led off the game with her seventh double of the season. The Spartans got two on in the third on a walk to Foerster and a single by Ebonee Echols, and had baserunners in each of the first four innings that they couldn't bring around to score.
Zalewski was cruising through four innings, facing just 14 batters - two over the minimum, thanks in part to a popup to second that Caitie Ladd turned into a double play to end the fourth.
Baccay walked, Foerster was hit by a pitch, and Echols singled to load the bases without an out in the top of the fifth inning, forcing a pitching change for the home team. Jessica Flores came on and walked the first two batters she faced, walking in a pair of runs. Flores got the next two batters, and got out of the inning without any further damage.
In the top of the fifth, the Spartans threatened again. Lindsey Besson led off with a single to right, Foerster walked, and Echols put runners at the corners with two outs when she reached on a fielder's choice. Flores walked Eveland for the second straight inning to load the bases, but got Long to line out back to the circle to end the inning.
The home team got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Naomi Hernandez reached on an error with one out, and Jamie Wren followed with a single to right. Taylor Rowland then stepped in and smacked a ball into right for an RBI double. The Spartans went to the bullpen, and brought on Jordan Watson in relief with two on in scoring position and one out. She surrendered a triple into the corner in right by Julia Lombardi, giving LBSU the first lead of the game. Another Spartan error scored the fourth run of the inning, but a popup in foul territory ended the inning with a 4-2 lead for the 49ers.
MSU left double-digit runners on base for the third straight game. The Spartans stranded 12 runners against the 49ers.