EVANSTON, Ill. – Michigan State (26-27, 8-11) took a 3-2 lead over No. 11 Northwestern (33-13, 17-2) Saturday afternoon at a drizzly Drysdale Field, but a three-run homer in the bottom of the third gave the Wildcats the lead for good, as NU claimed the eventual 6-3 victory.
Jessica Bracamonte homered over the right-field wall in the top of the second, erasing Northwestern’s 2-0 lead after a similar long ball by Michelle Batts in the bottom of the first. Bracamonte’s two-run shot tied the game at 2-2, as Gina Mondo scored from first base. The homer marked Bracamonte’s third of the season, and second in four games.
After three quick outs in the bottom of the second, Kara Weigle led off the third inning with a double to shallow center field – her second hit of the day. Bianca Mejia drew a walk in the next at bat, taking four balls - including two wild pitches - from Wildcat hurler Lauren Delaney. Weigle picked up third base on the first wild pitch, and came around to score on the final ball as it flew past Northwestern catcher Erin Dyer, giving Michigan State a 3-2 advantage.
But a pair of Northwestern homers put the game away, as the Wildcats kept their hopes alive to claim the Big Ten regular-season title.
Northwestern and Michigan State tangle again on Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m. at Drysdale Field. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, while live stats are available at www.msuspartans.com. Fans can also listen at www.sports.wnur.org, as Northwestern’s student radio broadcasts the game for free online.