Michigan State had a second consecutive double-digit hit game, earning a 10-7 win over in-state rival Central Michigan on Wednesday at Secchia Stadium. MSU (19-14) got multiple-hit games from Lea Forster, Sarah Gutknecht, and McKenzie Long, as MSU smacked four extra-base hits.
Gutknecht led the Spartans at the plate with a 2-for-4 effort, hitting her second home run of the season. Foerster had a pair of doubles, her eighth and ninth of the season.
Kristina Zalewski improved to 8-8 on the year with her outing, going 6 1/3 innings.
The Spartans scored 12 runs and had 14 hits in Tuesday’s win over Western Michigan, and then had 11 hits in today’s victory over the Chippewas.
Michigan State hits the road for a three-game series at Penn State, which begins on Friday at 6 pm in State College.
“These midweek games can be difficult, particularly when we play two of them between Big Ten series. We got two good pitching outings, and swung the bats well. the last two days. We were disappointed in how the Wisconsin series went for us on the whole, and have worked on some things the last few days that tied up some of the things we’ve talked about. We’re excited to get back into Big Ten play at Penn State this weekend.” - Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
Sarah Gutknecht hit her second home run of the season and went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI. McKenzie Long went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Lea Foerster went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk. Kristina Zalewski threw 6 1/3 innings, scattering 10 hits and striking out three to even her record at 8-8 on the year. Dani Goransonfinished up the outing, allowing a lone hit.
STATS AND STORYLINES
Sarah Gutknecht’s second home run of the season led off the bottom of the second inning for the Spartans, putting the first run of the game on the board. McKenzie Long followed with a single to left. Long stole second, and came home on a single up the middle byLindsey Besson for a 2-0 lead. Knapp hit Destinee Luna and walked Lea Foerster to load the bases, and Ebonee Echols put down an impressive bunt single that brought home Besson and kept the bases loaded. Celeste Wood’s shot into center was dropped by the center fielder, bringing home two more runs for a 5-0 lead. Gutknecht flew out to shallow center to end the inning, but it gave Zalewski a nice cushion when she returned to the circle. Allison Curtis led off the fourth with a single that just eluded the outstretched glove of Destinee Luna, and one out later, Katelyn Rentschler doubled to left center to bring Curtis in for the first Chippewa run of the game. A chopper to first was the second out of the inning, but Central kept the inning going with a single by Sydney Heath and an infield single and stolen base by Sara Hansen that left runners at second and third for Maison Kalina. Kalina popped out to Luna in shallow right to end the inning. Luna and Foerster hit back-to-back doubles with one out in the bottom of the third, and MSU got the runs back on the RBI by Foerster and Sarah Gutknecht bringing home Echols with a two-out single. Central Michigan followed suit with leadoff doubles in the fifth, and then after a groundout, CarolAnn Sexauer hit a shot over the centerfield wall for a three-run homer that brought the Chippewas back within two runs. Zalewski got an infield popup for the second out of the inning, and surrendered one more single before gettting Heath to ground out. Foerster led off the sixth with a double to the wall in dead center, and after Echols reached on an error and promptly took second, Wood singled to right center to bring home both runners for a 9-5 lead. Gutknecht laid down a bunt to move Wood to second, and she came home on a single by Long for a 10-5 lead The Chips made a pitching change, bringing on Laura Vaccaro for Knapp. Vaccaro allowed an infield single to White before getting Thomas to fly out in great part due to a diving catch by the right fielder Curtis. The Chips attempted a comeback in the top of the ninth. Curtis was hit by a pitch, and an error in the field allowed her to reach second base. Rentschler doubled up the middle to plate a run, at which point MSU made a pitching change to bring in Goranson with one out and two on. A fielder’s choice allowed Chelsea DeLamielleure to reach and load the bases; Goranson got ahead in the count on Heath, but she laced a single to center to make it a 10-7 ballgame. Goranson got the next two batters to pop out to Echols at short to end the inning,