Penn State Softball Drops Two Of Three Against Michigan State
Penn State (15-21, 3-6 Big Ten) couldn’t shut down the Spartans’ power hitting as it dropped two of three in its third Big Ten series of the season.
With the series moved to Eastern Michigan’s Varsity Field due to flooding in East Lansing, Michigan State (21-12, 5-4 Big Ten) battled back after dropping the first game of a Saturday doubleheader to take the final two games.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions fell behind early in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader with a pair of runs coming in the first and second against senior pitcher Marlaina Laubach, but she was locked in the rest of the way — conceding just one more run off a Sarah Gutknecht solo home run in the fifth.
Penn State rallied, starting in the third inning with a three-run shot from Shelby Miller over the center field wall to give the Nittany Lions the lead. Rebecca Ziegler extended the lead with a double in the fourth to score a run, and a suicide squeeze in the fifth added another. Tori Dubois’ sixth inning two-run homer sealed it as Penn State went on to take the opener 7-3.
The Spartans started off quick again in the second game with Kaitlyn Eveland knocking a pitch from freshman Madey Smith out of the park to take a 3-0 lead in the first. Much like the first game, Penn State came from behind with a third-inning rally after hits from Rebecca Ziegler, Dubois, and Toni Polk to tie it.
Eveland would get the best of Smith again in her next at-bat, hitting her second home run of the game to go ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the third. Two more runs in the fourth and a five-run fifth inning, capped off by a walk-off three-run home run from Lea Foerster, put the run-rule into effect for an 11-3 Michigan State win.
Another big inning ruled the day for the Spartans in the third game, despite Penn State jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. Laubach got the start in the circle and kept the Spartans off the board through three innings, but was pulled after giving up five runs in the fourth. The Nittany Lions cut the deficit to one after a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, but Michigan State freshman Jordan Watson closed out the final two innings for the save and a 6-4 win.
Player Of The Series
Kaitlyn Eveland | Third Base | Sophomore
Eveland made each of her three at-bats in Saturday’s rout count, hitting two home runs and a single for four RBIs.
Penn State returns home for a mid-week doubleheader against Ohio State. First pitch at the Nittany Lion Softball Park is at 5 p.m. and both games can be seen live on BTN Plus.