Sbardella's 2-Hit Night Not Enough vs. Michigan StateMarch 9, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
LAKEWOOD, CA – Charleston Southern took an early 3-0 lead, but was unable to hold off Michigan State as the Spartans registered a 4-3 comeback win over the Bucs on Friday evening at the Long Beach State Invitational.
Stephanie Sbardella continued a torrid out-of-conference season with a 2-for-4 night and an RBI, while Jessica Brock and Jana Matthews accounted for CSU’s (10-8) other runs.
Morgan Dowdy (6-4) struck out six and authored her seventh complete game of the season, but the junior was saddled with the hard luck loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits over 7.0 innings.
Michigan State’s Cassee Layne (3-3) picked up the win in relief, working 5.2 shutout frames while scattering five hits and punching out six.
CSU jumped on MSU starter Carly Nielsen to forge a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Megan Lombard got things started with an opposite field double, and came home to score two batters later when Matthews drilled a RBI triple off the top of the right field wall. Sbardella was next to the batter’s box, and delivered Matthews to the plate with a run-scoring single to the right-center field gap.
The Bucs added another run for a 3-0 cushion in the second, as Trea Steele singled and made her way to the plate when Brock smacked a RBI single through the originator.
Dowdy kept the Spartans off the scoreboard until MSU was able to scratch out a run in the top of the third, and then draw even with two more in the fourth. The latter two tallies came with two outs, as Ellie Stoffer rapped a pinch-hit, two-run single up the middle to knot the score at 3 apiece.
The Spartans’ decisive score came in the fifth, as Lori Padilla led off with a single and came around to account for the final 4-3 outcome when Ali Grant lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow right field.
Sbardella kept CSU’s hopes alive with a two-out infield single in the 7th, but Layne notched a strike out to preserve the victory for MSU.
CSU returns to the diamond tonight against Cal State Fullerton in a scheduled 10 p.m. first pitch.
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