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March 6, 2011

Box Score

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lindsey Hansen’s three-run home run completed the fourth lead change of the game and gave Michigan State (9-7) an 8-7 win over South Carolina (13-5) in the Gamecocks’ finale on Sunday afternoon in the Florida Atlantic Miken Classic at the FAU Softball Stadium.

After Karen Fox and Kylene Hopkins recorded singles with one down in the sixth, Hansen stepped up and hit the first pitch of the at bat the opposite way and over the wall in right-center. That homer was Hansen’s sixth of the season and gave the Spartans the 8-7 advantage.

South Carolina took the 1-0 lead in the first when sophomore right fielder Hannah Milks hit her first career home run, a line shot over the wall in left center. Michigan State tied things at 1-1 in the bottom of the first when Brett Williams smacked a home run to left to start the second.

The Gamecocks reclaimed the lead in the third on senior designated player Laura Mendes’ two-RBI single. That plated sophomore shortstop Samie Garcia and Milks after Garcia drew a walk and Milks beat out a ground ball for a hit. But Michigan State came back to get four in the bottom of the frame. Ali Grant got an RBI single before Michigan State loaded the bases for Heidi Purtzer, who doubled to right to clear the bases and give the Spartans the 5-3 lead.

South Carolina made that lead short lived, as freshman second baseman Dana Hathorn drove home two with a single to center. Hathorn moved to second on an error and took third on a Garcia grounder. Milks worked to get a two-out walk and promptly stole second. Mendes followed with an RBI single, while Milks later scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-5. South Carolina had the chance to get more, as both junior leftfielder Kaitlin Westfall and junior first baseman Molly Brossart both drew walks, but Michigan State reliever Shelby Wise got a ground ball to end the frame. That set up Hansen’s heroics in the sixth.

Wise (1-0) picked up the win, walking one and giving up three hits while striking out two in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Senior pitcher April Borchardt (2-2) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on a walk and five hits in 3.1 innings. She struck out one.

Milks went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, three runs scored and the one homer. Mendes went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Hathorn posted a 2-for-4 day with two RBI and a run scored. Junior third baseman Evan Childs also went 2-for-4 with a run scored. The Gamecocks dropped their first game when hitting a home run this season; but the Gamecocks are 0-3 when making three or more errors in a contest.

South Carolina wraps up the road trip on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Mississippi State to open Southeastern Conference play. First pitch for the twinbill is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST at the MSU Softball Field.