Michigan State earned its first victory of the 2019 season with a 5-0 win over host Florida International on Friday night in Miami. The Spartans are 1-1 after a tough 3-2 loss to UConn earlier on Friday.
Redshirt freshman Leah Shipp made her collegiate debut after missing the 2018 season with injury. She scattered five hits and struck out two to earn her first victory of her career with the shutout.
Panther starter Allison Muraskin went 6.1 innings, surrendering five earned runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking three. FIU went to Kendahl Dunford with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, and proceeded to hit a batter and walk the next two to turn a 2-0 Spartan lead to a 5-0 advantage.
"I'm incredibly proud of our pitching staff today, particularly Leah Shipp, who earned a shutout win in her first collegiate start. She's had to come back after missing all of her freshman year with an injury, so it makes it a bit extra special. I also thought that Jordan Watson and Alli Walker really did a nice job in the first game. Ebonee Echols hit two homers, and overall our offense got better as the day wore on, which is kind of to be expected in the first games of the season. Today's play is not going to be the standard we will want for the whole season, but we got to play outdoors on dirt today for the first time since October. Our players know that there's still work to do, but there were lots of good things today that we can build from."
- Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
• Ebonee Echols hit her second homer in as many games, hitting a solo shot in the top of the sixth. She was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
• Kaitlyn Eveland was 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the first inning.
• Redshirt freshman Leah Shipp got her first career start after missing 2018 with an injury, tossing a complete-game shutout. She scattered five hits and struck out two.
STATS AND STORYLINES
• MSU wasted little time getting things going in the second game of the day. Katie Quinlan walked and stole second, and one out later came home on a single by Kaitlyn Eveland. Mackenzie Meech got a free base after being hit by a pitch, but the Spartans stranded two.
• Charla Echols led off the third inning with a double into the gap in left center, her first collegiate hit.
• In the bottom of the fourth, the host Panthers had runners at second and third with one out, but a 5-3-2 double play – MSU's second defensive out at the plate over two games – erased the threat and got Shipp out of the inning.
• With one out in the top half of the sixth, Ebonee Echols fought through a nine-pitch at bat and capped it with a shot over the wall in right center, her second homer of the day. It gave MSU a 2-0 lead.
• MSU loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, as Quinlan legged out a one-out infield single, stole second. Charla Echols walked and Eveland singled up the middle to load the bases. The Panthers made a pitching change, going to Kendahl Dunford, Dunford hit Caitie Ladd with her first pitch, then walked Meech and Ebonee Echols to bring home three Spartan runs to push the lead out to 5-0.
• Pinch hitter Kellie Jones led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left, but a fly ball and a fielders choice got Shipp within one batter of the complete game. The redshiprt freshman got a harmless fly ball to right to end the game.
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