No. 16 MSU grabs two from U-Mary
Mavs win 40 for fourth time in history as Spicer tops charts
BISMARK, N.D. -- Sixteenth-ranked Minnesota State beat the University of Mary 8-6 and 7-6 on Sunday as Natalie Spicer reached the top of the program charts in career RBIs and home runs.
The two wins put the Mavericks at 41-10 (18-6 NSIC) on the season, marking the fourth time in school history the team has registered more than 40 wins.
Spicer batted in three runs in game one, moving her into first in career RBIs with 145, passing Kari Hudson who had 143 RBIs. Spicer’s 10th home run of the season moved her to 29 for her career, tying Abby Wagner’s Minnesota State record.
Game one action started with back-to-back singles in the first inning. Spicer then reached first on a fielder’s choice, as the Marauders took out the lead runner.
Senior third baseman Julie O'Neal singled to left, loading the bases before Lindsay Erickson knocked in Morris and Spicer on a single up the middle, putting MSU up 2-0.
Freshman catcher Kelly Wood hit a sacrifice fly to right field, tallying MSU’s third run of the first inning.
In the bottom half of the opening inning, Minnesota State made an error and gave up a hit in the opening two at bats to put on Jessica Alvarado and Jenna Button. Sophomore pitcher Courtney McKelvogue then set down the next two batters before the Mavericks committed their second error of the inning, which led to Alvarado scoring.
Spicer hit her 10th home run of the season with a long ball to put MSU up 4-1 moving into the bottom of the third.
After three hits and three errors, U-Mary tied the game up in the third, as it scored three runs. McKelvogue was replaced by junior pitcher Kendra Huettl with one out in the third inning. McKelvogue gave up three hits, four runs and struck out four batters.
The Mavericks broke the tie game in the fourth, scoring two runs. Junior centerfielder Chelsea Erickson singled to right field, before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore shortstop Abby Sonner sacrifice bunted Erickson to third. Upchurch took first on a walk, putting runners on the corners.
Morris singled to right field, earning her 22nd RBI of the season as Erickson crossed the plate. MSU loaded the bases on a Spicer walk, before all three runners took the next base on a passed ball.
U-Mary forced its way back into the game, as Calie Brown hit a game-tying, two-run in the fifth inning.
In the seventh inning, the O’Neal and Erickson singles couldn’t crack the tie.
After a three-up, three-down bottom half of the seventh, Minnesota State put two runs on the board in the eighth inning. Chelsie Krull singled to left field, as she moved around to third base on a Morris double to center field. Spicer knocked the two in on a center field single.
Minnesota State outhit University of Mary 14-7 in game one. Morris and O’Neal led the Mavericks offense as each hit 3 for 5 from the plate
Huettl earned the 21st win of the season, striking out eight in 5.2 innings. Huettl came into the game in the third, giving up four hit and two run in the eight inning MSU win.
In the second game of the twinbill, Minnesota State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. Morris hit a one-out single to start the game, before scooting to third on a Spicer single to center field. O’Neal hit a three-run home run, marking her fifth deep ball of the season.
Lindsay Erickson doubled to right center, keeping the first inning rally going. Freshman designated player Kelly Wood singled to right center, knocking in Erickson.
O’Neal and Erickson and rattled off consecutive hits in the third inning. A double steal forced a throwing error by the catcher to bring O’Neal home.
The Marauders had their best inning of the day in the bottom of the third inning.
The University of Mary got two runners on before MSU got an out on a fielder’s choice, putting runners at the corners. The Mavericks tallied their second out as Melissa Gonzalez was caught stealing. Allison Brown had a RBI single, putting runners at first and second base for U-Mary. Vanessa Baretto singled up the middle, loading the bases for Calie Brown. Brown snagged four RBIs on a grand slam to right center, generating a 6-5 U-Mary lead.
McKelvogue started from MSU in game two, lasting 2.2 innings, before being relieved by freshman pitcher Kristen Fah. Fah lasted two batters, giving up two hits when Huettl came in relief.
Down one run in the seventh inning, Minnesota State’s Morris, Spicer and O’Neal all singled to start the inning. Morris scored on the O’Neal hit as Spicer and O’Neal advanced to second and third base. Lindsay Erickson singled to center field, to guide Spicer across the dish.
MSU stranded two runners when the Marauders collected three consecutive outs.
Minnesota State headed into the bottom of the seventh with a one-run lead. With two outs and a runner on first base, Brown doubled down the right field line advancing Smith to third. A ground out to the MSU second baseman Amanda Umhoefer would end the game, giving MSU its 41st win of the season.
Huettl earned her 22nd win of the season with a 4.1-inning performance, giving up three hits and striking out six. On the day, the junior pitcher had 14 strikeouts in her 10 innings pitched.
In the two games, O’Neal had four RBIs and was 6 for 8, while Erickson was 5 for 7 at the plate.