MSU softball wins series against Penn State over the weekend
The MSU softball team faced Penn State University in a three-game series during the weekend.
The series was slated to be played at the Spartans’ home ballpark at Secchia Softball Stadium, but severe flooding caused the series to be moved to the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich.
The Spartans won two of three games in the series to improve their overall record to 21-12 (5-4 Big Ten).
MSU played two games on Saturday and opened the series with a 7-3 loss to the Nittany Lions, which snapped a four-game winning streak for the Spartans.
Despite recording 10 hits, the Spartans committed three errors that helped keep innings alive for the Nittany Lions.
Freshman Kelcey Carrasco and sophomore Lexi White each had two hits for MSU, while Sarah Gutknecht recorded a home run and Ebonee Echols continued to hold the national lead with her ninth triple of the season.
In the second game of the series, the Spartans won 11-3 in five innings.
The Spartans hit three home runs, including two from sophomore Kaitlyn Eveland, to tie a school record. Eveland also documented four RBIs in the win.
Eveland nailed a three-run homer in the first and had a solo home run in the third. The other home run came from Lea Foerster, who hit her team-best ninth home run of the season to end the game after five. Junior Bridgette Rainey earned her 11th win of the season by striking out five batters and only allowing five hits.
“The second game was a much better, concentrated effort for us,” head coach Jacquie Joseph said in a press release from MSU Athletics. “I was pretty displeased with the way the first game went, but I thought we got our heads on straight and corrected ourselves in game two (Saturday). We had 10 hits in the first game, but made some bad errors in the field and some other mental mistakes that won't even show up in the box score that cost us that game. In the second game, I thought we had a better focus, a better approach, and as a result, a better outcome.”
In the final game of the series, Echols tripled twice as the Newnan, Ga. native helped lift the Spartans over the Nittany Lions, 6-4.
Alongside her two triples, Echols went 2-for-4 with an RBI. The sophomore outfielder now has 11 triples on the season, which is second in school history in a season, and her 20 triples for her career is an all-time school record.
White and Carrasco each had two-run home runs in the fourth inning, when the Spartans notched five runs to respond to a 2-0 deficit.
Foerster hit her career-best ninth homer of the season in the fifth.
The pitchers had a strong outing. Rainey pitched three innings and struck out three, while walking two to earn the victory. Redshirt-junior Kristina Zalewski allowed two hits in the first two innings and freshman Jordan Watson earned her third save of the year after two innings pitched, allowing only one hit and no runs.
The Spartans are scheduled to play four games this week. MSU will face in-state rival University of Michigan on Wednesday to kick off the week’s slate of games. Previously scheduled to play in East Lansing, the game has been moved to Ann Arbor at 5 p.m. because of the flooding at the ballpark.
MSU will also play the University of Illinois in a three-game series beginning on Friday. The series is planned to take place in East Lansing, but it is likely the venue will change later in the week based on field conditions.