Florida Atlantic, receiving votes in both national polls, used a three-run rally in the fifth inning to open up a tight game and post a 6-0 win over Michigan State on Saturday evening in Boca Raton, Florida. The Owls improve to 12-0 on the season, while MSU falls to 8-5.
A pair of Spartan errors aided the FAU cause, and Owls pitcher Amanda Wilson limited the Spartans to just four hits, and didn’t walk a batter.
Bridgette Rainey, who earned the win in relief in MSU’s earlier game vs. Boston University, tossed a complete game, scattering 10 hits. She walked five and struck out four, including a pair of walks in FAU’s fifth-inning rally.
Kaitlyn Eveland went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles for the Spartans.
MSU concludes the Florida Atlantic Invitational with a game against Columbia on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
We really didn’t have a great day at the plate, and I would like to see us have a better effort there on Sunday. Bridgette Rainey ended up with decisions in both games for us, and had some really strong innings and other innings where she got herself in trouble. I don’t want to take anything away from FAU – they have two dominating starting pitchers and they do all the little things as a team that make them successful – which is why they are undefeated and receiving votes in the national poll. We have an opportunity to finish out this tournament on a high note if we can really focus on putting our best effort together in all phases of our game tomorrow.”
– Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
Kaitlyn Eveland was the only player with a hit in both games on Saturday; she went 2-for-3 against FAU: she led off the fifth with an infield single, and had a two-out single up the middle in the seventh. Lea Foerster and Ebonee Echols had the other hits for Michigan State. Bridgette Rainey took the complete-game loss after earning a win in game one. She scattered 10 hits and allowed six runs, walking five , and striking out four. She is now 2-1 on the season.
STATS AND STORYLINES
After a 3-0 win by Florida Atlantic on Friday evening, the teams each went with new pitchers in the second matchup: Bridgette Rainey for MSU and Amanda Wilson for the Owls.
A sac fly scored a run for the Owls in the top of the first, and then they went ahead 3-0 in the top of the third. A pair of hits by FAU and a pair of Spartan errors allowed the hosts to pad their lead.
Ebonee Echols legged out a single in the bottom of the fourth, and was sacrificed to second by Celeste Wood. Gutknecht was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, but Besson flied out to right center to end the Spartan threat.
Emily Lochten led off the fifth with a single up the middle, and a walk and a pair of stolen bases put two runners in scoring position with just one out. Mickey Bell put on the squeeze bunt, bringing home Lochten for a 4-0 lead. Kiley Southall walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, and pinch hitter Sarah Bencivenga delivered a two-RBI single through the left side to push the lead to 6-0. Rainey worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth inning, after she had allowed one hit and walked two – but she got Southall to pop out to the right side of the infield to get out of the inning without any damage.
Kaitlyn Eveland came up with her second hit of the game in the bottom of the seventh, but MSU couldn’t get her across.