April 13, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: Penn State 8, MSU 6
A wild affair between Michigan State and Penn State on Friday evening went to the home team, as a four-run first and an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning helped Penn State to an 8-6 victory in the opening game of the three-game series in State College.
Katie Quinlan led MSU with three hits, while Kaitlyn Eveland went 2-for-3 with a homer, a double, and five RBI.
MSU took an early 3-0 lead on a Kaitlyn Eveland three-run homer in the top of the first, but the home team came back with four runs in the bottom of the frame, added two in the third, and then single runs in the fourth and sixth to cut the lead to 7-6, but an RBI single by Amanda Grieco gave the home team an extra bit of padding on their lead. Melanie Baccay had a two-out single in the seventh to try to start a rally, but Cummings closed it down to take game one of the series.
Each team used three pitchers, with the decisions going to the starters. Bridgette Rainey took the loss with a two-inning, six-run, two-strikeout, two-walk outing. Jessica Cummings earned the win for the home team, as she started the game, saw PSU use two relief pitchers, and then re-entered with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth after MSU had already put two runs on the board. She got the final eight outs of the game, surrendering one run in the sixth on a Kelcey Carrasco RBI single that scored Katie Quinlan.
The Spartans and Penn State will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 2 pm.
Kaitlyn Eveland smacked her fifth homer of the season in the first inning, and finished the game -for-3 with five RBI, tied for her career best.
Katie Quinlan went 3-for-4 with three singles, upping her batting average to .300
Kelcey Carrasco had an RBI single in the fourth inning.
STATS AND STORYLINES
Ebonee Echols tarted the first inning rally with a two-out single, and she moved to third when Kelcey Carrasco reached on an error, and then took second on a wild pitch. Kaitlyn Eveland emptied the bases with a three-run homer to right center, her fifth of the season, to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
The home team countered in the bottom of the first, rallying within a run before there was an out on the scoreboard with a leadoff double, a hit by pitch, and a pair of walks in addition to a fielder's choice. After Rainey got the first out of the inning on a fly ball, Tori Polk stepped in and tripled down the right field line, scoring two - but Grieco was gunned down at the plate to limit it to two runs instead of three. Rainey got the final out of the inning on a strikeout of Dani Fey ends the inning.
Rainey allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the third. The Spartans made a battery change, bringing in Lindsey Besson to catch Jordan Watson, with Carrasco moving to first. Watson gave up a sac bunt before the Nittany Lions got another RBI hit from Polk, a one-out an RBI single. Fey walked to bring home another run that made the score 6-3 , but Watson turned an unassisted double play on a popup to end the inning.
The Nittany Lions brought on Madey Smith to pitch the fourth, and she got two of the first three batters on fly balls, but also issued three walks - two on four straight balls to Lindsey Besson and Melanie Baccay - to load the bases. The home team made a pitching change, and new pitcher Schaffer got Foerster to ground out to end the inning.
Dubois led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer to left, which spelled a pitching change for the Spartans. McKenna Gregory came on for Watson, and she was greeted with a perfect bunt from Legg. Gregory got Elling to go down swinging, a fielder's choice, and a ground out to get out of the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Katie Quinlan reached on a bunt single, took second on a throwing error, and then went to third on a wild pitch. Echols walked and then stole second, setting up a two-run double for Kaitlyn Eveland that trimmed the deficit to 7-5. Caitie Ladd singled up the middle to move Eveland to third, and then stole second to leave two runners in scoring position. Shaffer walked Zackrison on four pitches to load the bases, and the Nittany Lions made a pitching change to go back to the starter Cummings in the circle. She got Besson to pop up to short for the second out of the inning, and pinch hitter Joanna Bartz to go down swinging to end the inning.
The Spartans cut into the lead again in the top of the sixth. Quinlan reached on a second straight bunt single., and took second on a throwing error. After the second out of the inning, Carrasco singled down the left field line to score Quinlan to trim the lead down to a single run, 7-6.
A one-out single followed by a groundout and single was the recipe for the Nittany Lions to add an insurance run in the sixth. Amanda Grieco delivered the RBI single to center that scored Delaney Elling.
The Spartans scored their most runs since March 29 vs. Western Michigan
Kaitlyn Eveland tied her career high of five RBI, set last April vs. Toledo. She had her fifth home run of the season, and third double.
Quinlan's three-hit outing was her first of her career.