Softball Remains Unbeaten In Big Ten

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Behind a grand slam by designated hitter Dana Rosenblatt, Michigan State (24-11, 3-0) defeated Big Ten foe Purdue, 8-2, on Friday afternoon at Old College Field. With the loss, Purdue falls to 22-19, 2-3 Big Ten for the year. Caitlin Mahoney posted a career-best four hits, while Meghan Darhower went 3 for 3 at the plate, with one run and three RBI in the win. Rachel Turney managed seven strikeouts en route to a team-best, 12th complete game of the year.

Purdue's DaQueta Johnson walked in the top of the first, loading the bases full of Boilermakers with one out. Katie Mitchell reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Staci Falzon from third, as Purdue tacked on two runs for an early lead.

Nikki Nicosia walked in the Spartan half of the first, reaching third on an errant throw by the Purdue shortstop. With runners on second and third, Meghan Darhower ripped a double to the center field fence, scoring Nicosia and Nicole Mercado for a 2-2 tie. Caitlin Mahoney singled to left and Kara Weigle walked to load the bases, however, Purdue pitcher Brooke Baker forced consecutive outs escaping with just two runs scored.

State posted a four-run bottom of the third, when with the bases loaded and two outs, designated hitter Dana Rosenblatt blasted her first career grand slam over the left field fence for a 6-2 lead.

Mahoney reached first to leadoff the fifth, followed by a Weigle single and Gina Mondo walk, to load the bases. Purdue managed two force outs at the plate, and a groundout to the third baseman, holding the Spartan lead to just four runs.

In the sixth, Mercado reached on an error by the Purdue left fielder, and scored on Darhower's second double of the day, extending the Spartan lead. Mahoney followed with a double to center, scoring Darhower for an 8-2 lead heading into the seventh.

After early trouble, Turney faced four batters in the seventh, and allowed just five hits through the final six innings, gaining her 11th win of the year. Mahoney paced the offense with four hits, while Darhower and Weigle each added three hits and one run at the plate.

"I am very proud of the way we competed today, especially when they scored first," head coach Jacquie Joseph said. "We look forward to the opportunity to get back on the field tomorrow."

Michigan State continues action vs. Purdue, Saturday at 1 p.m. The Spartans conclude the four-game home stand when they host Big Ten foe Indiana in a doubleheader, Sunday at noon.

Purdue Game One Notes:

* The Spartans registered their ninth double-digit hit game of the season and the first since March 29 against IPFW.

* Dana Rosenblatt's third inning grand slam was her fourth home run of the season, the first of her career and State's first grand slam of the year.

* By going 4-for-4 on the day, Caitlin Mahoney becomes just the third player to have a four-plus hit game this season. Mahoney is third on the team with 17 RBI.

* Meghan Darhower notched her seventh multi-hit game of the season and first three-hit game on Friday. She is second on the team with seven doubles after two against Purdue.

* MSU improves to 13-2 when it scores first, 8-1 when scoring in the first inning, and 22-5 when out-hitting its opponent.

* State's three wins to start the Big Ten season is the best conference start since 2003.