April 14, 2018
Box Score | PDF Box: MSU 6, Penn State 2
Michigan State completed the doubleheader sweep of Penn State on Saturday, defeating the Nittany Lions 6-2 after a 7-1 win in game one earlier in the day.
Kristina Zalewski started both ends of the doubleheader, earning both victories in complete-game efforts. In the nightcap, she struck out eight and scattered six hits, walking one. She improved to 9-9 on the season as she struck out 19 total batters and allowed eight hits over the two contests.
Lea Foerster and Melanie Baccay each had two hits for the Spartans, as Foerster had a pair of RBI. Caitie Ladd had a pair of RBI with a 1-for-3 performance as well.
The Spartans jumped out for a big offensive inning in the top of the first for the third straight game. MSU had four runs on the board in the first and added single runs in the second and fourth innings. Penn State managed single runs in the third and sixth, but couldn't find any offensive rhythm other than in the bottom of the sixth, when the Nittany Lions led off with three straight singles to load the bases - but Zalewski worked out of the jam and allowed just the single run.
Jessica Cummings took the loss for Penn State, allowing six runs on seven hits, allowing triples to Katie Quinlan and Baccay.
MSU has a home game on Tuesday vs. Michigan, a 3 pm first pitch that will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Lea Foerster went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Melanie Baccay went 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk and a stolen base. She also made two impressive highlight-reel defensive plays.
Kristina Zalewski threw her third complete game of the week and second of the day. She struck out eight batters and allowed just six hits in the game two victory.
"There's a lot to be very satisfied and content with today - Kristina Zalewski was super tough in throwing 14 innings, and she was in control from the first pitch at 2 pm. She was out of gas, but she wanted to finish and she finished strong. Our team responded around her. We got offensive contributions in a lot of ways - some big swings and some small ball. We moved runners, we stole bases. We have another big week with four games against ranked teams - I know we're chomping at the bit to get Michigan at our place after a 1-0 loss last week."
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
The Spartans continued their offensive push into the second game, as Lea Foerster led off with a single and came around to score on a Katie Quinlan triple, the first of her career. Ebonee Echols reached on a fly ball to left that was misplayed by the fielder, which scored Quinlan. Kelcey Carrasco singled and then stole second, and with two outs, Caitie Ladd singled to center to score two more runs to push the Spartan lead to 4-0.
Melanie Baccay led off the second with a triple, her first of the year - and then came home on a single by Foerster. A ground ball and fly ball moved Foerster to third
Penn State put two runners on in the bottom of the third when a leadoff walk was followed by a pair of fielder's choices, and Tori Dubois stepped in and delivered a one-out single to score Dani Fey from second base. Kennedy Legg struck out - Zalewski's fifth of the game - for the second out of the inning, and a fielder's choice ended the frame with just a single run.
In the top of the fourth, Besson led off by reaching on an error, and an infield single moved pinch runner Joanna Bartz to third on the throw. Baccay stole second, and a sac fly by Foerster scored Bartz for a 6-1 lead. Cummings walked Echols and then saw her steal second to put two in scoring position, but the PSU pitcher got out of the inning without any more damage.
Penn State looked to get things going in the sixth, as the Nittany Lions led off with three straight singles to load the bases. Back-to back groundouts by Paige Johnson and MeghanWilliams put a second run on the board and left two in scoring position with two out, bringing Fey to the plate with an opportunity to add more, but she fouled out at first to end the threat. Zalewski retired the side in order in the seventh, including her eighth strikeout that ended the game.
Zalewski threw three complete games in the week, including a tough 1-0 loss at Michigan on Wednesday. In those three complete games (20.0 IP), she struck out 22 and issued two walks, allowing 14 base hits.