April 2, 2017
Box Score | PDF Box Score: MSU 6, UMD 2
Michigan State wrapped up a three-game sweep of visiting Maryland on Sunday, downing the Terps 6-2 in the final game of the series.
The Spartans recorded their first three-game Big Ten sweep since March 29-31, 2013 vs. Indiana. The Spartans are now 19-11 and 3-3 in the Big Ten, and have won four straight. Maryland is now 7-26-1, and 0-6 in B1G play.
Sarah Gutknecht and Lexi White each hit homers in the game, while junior Lea Foerster had her 14th double of the season, one shy of her junior-year total.
MSU's pitchers had a staff outing - starter Kristina Zalewski went through the lineup once, going two innings and allowing three hits and no runs. Bridgette Rainey came on in the third and went three innings to earn the win, striking out four and surrendering two hits, and allowing just one run. Jordan Watson closed it out as she has the last three games, coming on in the top of the sixth inning. Watson tossed two innings, allowing two hits and one run. Rainey earned the win in the circle to improve to 10-5, as the staff stranded 11 Terp runners on the basepaths on the day and combined for five strikeouts.
The Spartans continue their homestand when they welcome Penn State for a three-game Big Ten series next weekend.
Sarah Gutknecht hit her seventh homer of the season, and Lexi White hit her first.
Kaitlyn Eveland was 1-for-1 with a run scored and a pair of walks.
Jordan Watson came on in relief for the fourth consecutive game, and threw two innings of relief, allowing two hits and one run,
" The sweep actually means less to me than the importance of winning today. Its hard to beat teams three times in a row, but we can't focus on winning three straight - the focus needs to be, even though its a cliche, that you have to focus on that day's game only. We did a nice job of getting some timely hitting and sticking to our game plan. We got good pitching performances from all three pitchers all weekend, and that's the recipe for success for us. Now we have four days to regroup, recover and be ready to take on Penn State next week." "
Head coach Jacquie Joseph .
STATS AND STORYLINES
Lea Foerster led off the game with a double to the wall in dead center, moved to third on a fielder's choice, and gave the Spartans a lead on a single to right by Kaitlyn Eveland. Two batters later, Sarah Gutknecht cleared the center-field wall with her seventh homer of the season to push the lead to 3-0 after the first inning.
Lexi White hit her first home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field fence, to push the Spartan lead to 4-0.
A base hit and a textbook bunt by Skylynne Ellazar put two runners on for the Terps in the top of the fourth inning. Rainey, who came on in relief in the third, walked Dillard to load the bases, giving Maryland its biggest threat of the game to that point. Kassidy Cross stepped in and worked a full count, but Rainey got her swinging for the first out of the inning. A fly ball to left got the Spartans to two out, but a full-count walk to leadoff hitter Juli Strange brought home Maryland's first run of the game. Rainey struck out Amanda Brashear to leave the bases loaded and maintain a three-run MSU lead.
MSU got a pair on with one out in the bottom of the fifth, as Foerster was hit by a pitch and Echols legged out an infield single. Eveland walked to load the bases, and Carrasco reached on a fielder's choice as the pitcher came home to nab Foerster at the plate on a forceout. Dewey walked Gutknecht on a full count, bringing home MSU's fifth run. A single to right by McKenzie Long brought home a sixth run, but Carrasco was out on a play at the plate to end the inning with MSU holding a 6-1 lead.
The Terps trimmed the lead in the top of the sixth. With an error, base hit, and a walk, the bases were loaded with one out for Amanda Brashear, but she hit into a fielder's choice as Kristina Dillard scored from third to make it 6-2. A nice snag by Ebonee Echols on the run in left ended the inning and the Maryland threat.
The Terps got a two-out triple from Ellazar in the top of the seventh, but she was the 11th and final batter stranded by Maryland in the game.
Maryland's fourth-inning run - which came in on a bases-loaded walk - was the Terps' first run scored against the Spartans in 10 innings.