There were a lot of disappointed fans Wilpon Field Friday as the Michigan State Spartans took down heavily favored 17th rank and second-seeded Michigan5-4. The Spartans battled back and scored 3 runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead using a leadoff hit-by-pitch and four singles to retake the lead and earn their second straight comeback win in the tournament.
Kaitlyn Eveland knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. Lea Forrester’s RBI double and Kelcey Carrasco’s game-tying bloop single also helped the Spartans rally from a 4-2 deficit entering the inning.
Ramirez drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh and advanced to second on a groundout to put the tying run in scoring position, but a popup to third base ended the game and eliminated Michigan from the tournament.
The Wolverines plated two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to rally from an initial two-run deficit. Junior rightfielder Aidan Falk got Michigan on the board with a sacrifice fly to leftfield, but senior third baseman Lindsay Montemarano evened the score with a bouncing single up the middle.
Sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield, who along with Ramirez led U-M with two hits, sliced a two-run single down the leftfield line, dropping it just fair on the line, to drive in the go-ahead runs. Senior centerfielder Kelly Christner kickstarted the surge with a two-strike double — also down the leftfield line. Michigan carried the 4-2 lead into the seventh.
Lea Foerster went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs for the Spartans. Bridgette Rainey picked up the win, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings. She relieved starter Kristina Zalewski in the fifth for MSU, which hasn’t won this many games since going 33-26 in 2006-07. Senior Michigan RHP Megan Betsa (23-8) took the loss — Michigan’s first at home this season — after giving up eight hits and four walks. She struck out six.
“Any time you can beat a team that’s consistently perennial is great,” said MSU coach Jacquie Joseph. “(To beat) a top-ten team in the country, and to win at their place with the crowd, I thought our kids just showed tremendous poise. It’s a very difficult place to play if you watch the game, our kids were really unfazed. And that’s not an easy thing to do. it’s a big program win, no question.”
Michigan (41-11-1) had won 36 straight home games and 19 straight over MSU, dating back to 2009. The comeback comes a day after Michigan State erased a three-run deficit in the sixth inning to eliminate Indiana, 8-7, on Thursday.