MANKATO -- Sixth-ranked Minnesota State beat eighth-ranked Winona State 12-4 and 1-0 in senior Natalie Spicer’s 200th career game at Minnesota State Monday afternoon. The schools ranked first and second in the NCAA central region ranking last week, with the Mavericks at the top spot.
Early on, Minnesota State found itself down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the second on five Warrior hits.
Senior Natalie Spicer went 3-for-3, tallying five RBI in the first game of the doubleheader. Spicer crushed a grand slam in the bottom of the second in MSU’s six-run inning.
In the second inning, Lindsay Erickson, Kelly Wood and Abby Sonner rattled off three singles in a row. Junior Amanda Umhoefer and Lauryn Morris walked to bring in two MSU runs before Spicer’s two-out grand slam.
The Mavericks scored four more runs in the fourth inning, jumping to a 10-2 lead. After two walks and a batter hit by a pitch, senior Julie O’Neal knocked in Morris and Junior Melanie Upchurch. Chelsea Erickson kept the rally going, singling to center field, bringing in Spicer. Lindsay Erickson hit a sac fly that scored Chelsie Krull, who pinch ran for O’Neal.
The Warriors put runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but only scored once off its three hits in the inning.
MSU loaded the bases up in the bottom of the fifth after a hits batsman, a double and walk. Spicer doubled and Umhoefer crossed the plate, giving the Mavericks an 11-4 lead through the five innings.
Minnesota State junior pitcher Kendra Huettl struck out three batters in the top of the sixth. Chelsea Erickson ended the game in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run, marking her seventh home run of the season.
Huettl would go the distance facing 29 batters, striking out seven Warriors.
Chelsea Erickson, Upchurch and O’Neal each had two hits in the victory, with Erickson and O’Neal both picking up two RBI.
Minnesota State out hit Winona State 12-11 in the game, with WSU leaving 10 players on base. MSU would leave five players on the base paths in the game.
As the bats were loose in game one, both teams combined for 11 hits in game two of the day.
The difference maker was Wood in the bottom of the sixth inning. In her 100th at bat of the season, the freshman went deep recording her eighth home run of the year. Wood owns a team-leading .790 slugging percentage on the season.
The Mavericks recorded five hits on the game, as Wood had two hits and Upchurch, O’Neal, Lindsay Erickson had one.
The biggest threat the Mavericks faced was in the fifth inning as WSU had runners on first and second with no outs. MSU got the lead runner out on a sacrifice bunt attempt, before Huettl struck the next batter out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Huettl got the Warriors to ground out to shortstop Abby Sonner to end the threat.
Huettl went all seven innings from the mound, recording her six strikeouts, giving up six hits. Two wins on the day jumps Huettl to 18-4 on the season, with a 2.38 earned run average.
Minnesota State (35-8, 12-5 NSIC) will get back to action Thursday at Concordia. The doubleheader is slated for 2 p.m.
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