Softball Falls To Michigan State, 13-5
May 21, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - Michigan State (36-25) scored 11 runs in the final two innings en route to a 13-5, six-inning win over the University of Massachusetts (34-17) this evening in an elimination game of the NCAA Softball Championship at the University of Georgia. The Minutewomen season concludes with a 34-17 record.
Michigan State broke a scoreless tie with two unearned runs in the top of the third inning. UMass had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning after senior Aisha Franke (Philadelphia, Pa.) singled and freshman Candice Molinari (Glendora, Calif.) walked. Sophomore Katie Jo Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) grounded out to end the inning however.
The Minutewomen once again put two on the bottom of the fourth inning but were unable to score once again. Sophomore Lesley Ferrara (Stamford, Conn.) led off with a pinch hit single and sophomore Kristi Stefanoni (Columbus, N.J.) reached on a two-out error, but senior Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) popped out to end the frame.
In the fifth inning, the Spartans exploded for eight runs on eight hits and one UMass error to break the game wide open.
In the bottom of the fifth, UMass tried to mount a come-back. Franke led off with a single and then scored on a RBI triple by junior Hilary Puglia (Stoneham, Mass.). Two batters later, Kelley added a RBI single and later in the inning freshman Amanda Morin (Worcester, Mass.) drove in two runs with a single up the middle.
Michigan State came right back with three runs in the top of the sixth and forced UMass to score at least two runs to avoid being run-ruled. Molinari had a RBI ground out, but UMass was unable to plate another run and extend the inning.
Junior Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.) got the start and allowed four runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings. She gave up four hits and no walks while fanning one. Sophomore Jenna Busa (Lexington, Mass.) then came in and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits and two walks while fanning one in 1.2 innings.
UMass concludes the 2004 season with a 34-17 record while Michigan State advances in the loser's bracket to face the winner of tonight's Texas A&M/Georgia game.
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