Spartans Sweep Intra-State Rival Detroit

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Spartans Sweep Intra-State Rival Detroit
Caitlin Mahoney posts four hits and four RBI in series sweep.
 EAST LANSING, Mich. – Behind a strong offensive day by the Green and White, MSU (32-14, 8-2 Big Ten) swept intra-state rival Detroit (9-23, 5-4 Horizon League), 4-1 and 8-3, Tuesday at Old College Field. For the day, Caitlin Mahoney went 4 for 7 with two runs and four RBI, while Meghan Darhower added three hits and Dana Rosenblatt tallied one home run and three RBI. Lesley Noel improved to 9-4 on the year with a complete game victory in game one, while Rachel Turney and Megan Hair allowed just five hits combined in the nightcap.  Â
After a slow start offensively from both sides in game one, Detroit posted the first run of the day on a standup double from Katrina Klemp, scoring Kaleigh Rafter for a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth.Â
With runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Mahoney singled to center field, scoring Amy Szawara from third. The Spartan offense wasn’t finished, however, as Dayna Feenstra tallied her team-best seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot over the right field fence, for a 4-1 MSU advantage.
Noel held Detroit to just three hits, adding four strikeouts, compared to eight hits and four runs by the Spartan offense. Kara Weigle posted two hits at the plate, while Mahoney went 2 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Darhower, Feenstra, Nicole Mercado and Szawara each added one hit for the Green and White offense.Â
The Spartans struck early in game two, when Mahoney and Weigle posted back-to-back RBI-singles for a 2-0 MSU lead in the bottom of the first. The Titans answered in the top of the second, when Rafter sent a long shot over the center field fence, narrowing the lead to 2-1.
Erin Harvey posted her first career double in the bottom of the second, and advanced to third on a Mercado sacrifice bunt. Gina Mondo placed a ball under the glove of the Titan third baseman, scoring Harvey from third. Mondo advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Darhower singled to left, putting runners on the corners for Mahoney. Mahoney recorded her third RBI of the contest, smashing a ball to the center field fence, extending the Spartan lead to 5-1.Â
Turney tallied three strikeouts before reliever Meghan Hair took the circle in the fourth. UDM posted three consecutive hits to start the inning en route to a two-run top of the fourth, narrowing the MSU lead to 5-3.Â
MSU was unable to score in three consecutive innings before Darhower reached second and pinch runner Abby Lincoln stood on first for Rosenblatt in the sixth. The designated player recorded her fifth home run of the season for the deciding 8-3 Spartan victory.Â
Hair held strong through the final three innings, posting four strikeouts, earning her fourth save of the year.
State out-hit Detroit 8-3 in the game one and 10-5 in game two, where Darhower went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and Mahoney went 2 for 4 with one run and three RBI.
“We played well today and gutted out two good wins,” Spartan head coach Jacquie Joseph said. “We are very excited about getting back into Big Ten action vs. Penn State and Ohio State this weekend.”
MSU travels to State College, Pa., to face Penn State on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. The roadtrip continues on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, with a doubleheader versus the Buckeyes beginning at noon. Courtesy of MSU sports information.