Visiting Michigan posted a 12-1 victory over Michigan State on Tuesday at Secchia Stadium.
The No. 22 Wolverines (30-10, 12-1 B1G) scored three in the second, four in the fourth, and four via two home runs in the top of the seventh innings to inflate the score late.
MSU opened up a 1-0 lead with three base hits early in the first inning against staff ace Meghan Beaubien, chasing her from the game in favor of freshman Alex Storako. Storako did not allow the Spartans another hit until Melanie Baccay led off the seventh with a single to right.
Faith Canfield led the Wolverines with a 3-for-4 night, including a double and a triple and two RBI. Katie Alexander was 2-for-4 with a team-best three RBI, while Lexie Blair and Natalia Rodriguez also had two-hit efforts. Storako allowed just the one hit in seven innings, walking five and striking out 15.
For the Spartans, Baccay had a pair of base hits – the first and final ones for the Spartans – and scored the Spartan run. Charla Echols added a base hit and MacKenzie Meech had an RBI single for MSU (15-25, 3-9 Big Ten). MSU used all four of its pitchers, with starter Alli Walker taking the loss (8-10), allowing three runs. McKenna Gregory had the longest stint in the circle, going 3.1 innings in relief, allowing two hits.
The Spartans host Ohio State in a three-game Big Ten series this weekend at Secchia Stadium. These two teams will meet again next Tuesday in a rematch in Ann Arbor.
• Melanie Baccay had a pair of base hits and scored once.
• MacKenzie Meech had an RBI single in the first inning.
• Laney Joyner walked twice.
STATS AND STORYLINES
• Michigan State’s first-inning offense continued for the third straight game. Melanie Baccay legged out an infield single to start things off, and Charla Echols followed with a single through the right side that sent Baccay to third. Baccay came home on a single by Meech, giving the Spartans an early lead off Meghan Beaubien. Beaubien walked Ebonee Echols to load the bases, spelling the end of her outing. Alex Storako came on to pitch and got two outs on a soft liner to second and a pair of strikeouts to work out of the jam she inherited.
• The Wolverines countered in the second, as Taylor Uden led off the inning with a double off the wall in center. Walker got the next two, as Uden moved to third on a fly ball to right. Katie Alexander homered to center to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Rodriguez singled through the left side and stole both second and third, and Canfield followed with a ball into right that just escaped the grasp of a diving Laney Joyner to bring home a third run in the inning.
• Leah Shipp came on in the top of the third for the Spartans, and a Lexie Blair double followed by a Mackenzie Nemitz single put a quick run on the board for UM. After the loading the bases, Shipp got out of the jam with a line drive to first, and Meech doubled Haley Hoogenrraad off of first to end the inning.
• Natalia Rodriguez led off the fourth with a single through the right side, and she came home on a triple by Canfield to make it a 5-1 game. After Natalie Peters was hit by a pitch, she stole second and came home on a single by Blair. The Spartans made a pitching change, going to McKenna Gregory; she walked both Sobczak and Uden to walk in a run. Hoogenraad then reached on a fielder’s choice, and a throwing error brought home Szobczak for an 8-1 lead.
• While Storako had settled in and tossed no-hit innings, Gregory tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth and had one runner reach via error in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, pinch hitter Lou Allan fouled out on an impressive diving catch by Melanie Baccay for the first out of the inning. A solo homer by Alexander, a walk to pinch hitter Hannah Carson and a two-run shot by pinch hitter Morgan Overaitis pushed the lead out to 11-1. The Spartans brought on Jordan Watson to pitch with two outs, and after hitting the first two batters she saw, then surrendered a base hit to Taylor Bump that plated a 12th run.
• Melanie Baccay broke up the streak of no-hit innings for Storako when she led off with a single in the bottom of the seventh, but MSU couldn’t get anything else going. The Spartans stranded nine runners in the game.