FINAL: MSU softball bounces back, throttles Toledo in shootout, 13-7
The MSU softball team faced the University of Toledo in their first game at Secchia Stadium Wednesday since having to relocate numerous home games due to poor field conditions after severe flooding earlier in the month.
In a dreary, rainy day, the Spartans prevailed, 13-7.
The Spartans scored seven unanswered runs in the first two innings to take a 7-0 lead to begin the third, including a six-run second inning for MSU.
Toledo’s only runs came in the third and fourth as the Rockets scored three times in each inning. Righty Jordan Watson started the game at the mound for the Spartans.
The freshman pitcher opened the game sending the Rockets down in order in the first two innings.
The Franklin, Ga. native pitched a complete game and struck out three in the win, while allowing nine hits.
Sophomore Kelly Zackrison and third baseman Kaitlyn Eveland had career days as Zackrison logged three hits, which was the most in a single game in her career and Eveland registered a career-high four hits and five RBIs.
Junior outfielder Lea Foerster continued her dominance on base as she reached base Wednesday for the 35th consecutive game.
After the Rockets went three up, three down in the first, the Spartans were able to tack on a run in the opening inning as a sacrifice fly from first baseman Sarah Gutknecht with the bases loaded allowed sophomore Ebonee Echols, who had two hits and two runs in the win, to find home to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead entering the second.
Watson forced the Rockets to go down in order for the second consecutive inning and the Spartans followed up in the frame hauling in six runs.
In the second inning, the Rockets allowed the Spartans’ first three batters to get on base.
After Foerster and Echols were called out, junior McKenzie Long tripled down the right field line sending home three runs to extend the Spartans’ lead to four.The Spartans continued to pile on as third baseman Kaitlyn Eveland homered over the left field wall for a two-run shot as Long and Eveland scored, giving the Spartans a 6-0 lead.One batter removed from a pitching change by the Rockets, a single to right field by Zackrison led to Gutknecht recording her second run of the game.
The Spartans were unable to add onto their six-run inning in the second, but went into the third with a 7-0 lead.
The Rockets were able to cut their deficit in the third.
Infielder Megan Choate earned an RBI as her single up the middle allowed Ashley Maynard to cut their deficit to six.
Senior infielder Chandler Rice doubled to left field, which gave way to the Rockets’ second run of the game.
As the bases were loaded, Rice reached home as a Celeste Fidge ground out led to the Louisville, Ohio native cutting the Spartans’ lead to just four.
MSU responded by also scoring three runs in the third as runs by Echols, Long and Eveland gave the Spartans a 10-3 lead after the third inning.
Toledo answered with three more runs in the fourth to once more cut their deficit to four.
In the fifth, the Rockets couldn’t generate a run as they went into the bottom of the fifth trailing by four.
A double to center field by Eveland in the fifth brought home Long, who extended MSU’s lead to five.
Eveland scored later in the inning to give MSU a 12-6 lead to begin the sixth.
In the sixth, Foerster scored off a single by Eveland to extend the Spartans’ lead to seven.
The Rockets scored one run in the final frame, but their deficit was too large for a comeback.
The Spartans will now complete their final homestand of the season in a three-game series against Ohio State this weekend.