U-M Ties No. 1 Florida State, Blanks No. 21 Arizona State at Mary Nutter
Tera Blanco

Feb. 26, 2017

» No. 14 U-M battled to a 5-5 tie against No. 1 Florida State before cruising to a 3-0 shutout victory against No. 21 Arizona State on the final day of action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
» Michigan's game against FSU was halted prior to the bottom of the eighth inning -- with U-M due up -- due to the Seminoles' drop-dead time for travel.
» RHP Tera Blanco posted two hits and three RBI on the day and earned the win in the circle against ASU, striking out five while allowing just three hits and one walk in six innings.

• Boxscores: Florida State | Arizona State

Site: Palm Springs, Calif. (Big League Dreams Complex)
Event: Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Day 3 of 3)
Scores: #14 Michigan 5, #1 Florida State 5; #14 Michigan 3, #21 Arizona State 0
Records: U-M (9-4-1), FSU (14-1-1), ASU (11-3)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 2 -- vs. Arizona State - Judi Garman Classic (Fullerton, Calif.), 2:30 p.m. PST

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team went unbeaten against a pair of ranked opponents on the final day of action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, battling to a 5-5 tie against No. 1 Florida State before shutting out No. 21 Arizona State, 3-0, on Sunday (Feb. 26) at the Big League Dreams Complex.

The tie against FSU -- the Wolverines' first since 2001 -- brought an anticlimactic end to a wild and dramatic game against the Seminoles. The teams started extra innings, senior RHP Megan Betsa struck out the side in the top of the eighth, but the game was called -- without U-M getting a chance to hit in the bottom half -- due to Florida State's drop-dead time due to travel.

Betsa (3-3) was strong despite the no-decision, settling in after hitting several FSU batters early to strike out 11 while allowing five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and four walks. She lost the three additional strikeouts in the eighth when the game reverted back to a seven-inning final but earned them back in a relief appearance in the nightcap against Arizona State, striking out all three faced in the seventh en route to her first save of the season.

Florida State took advantage of the free bases, using a leadoff single and two hit-by-pitches to put a runner on third and then scoring on a sacrifice fly. The Wolverines responded quickly, however, using a hit-by-pitch of their own to put a runner aboard before senior centerfielder Kelly Christner ripped an RBI double down the leftfield line.

Michigan responded twice more, answering FSU runs in the top of the fifth and sixth with tallies of its own in the home half of each inning. The Wolverines loaded the bases with no outs in the former frame to chase Seminole starter Meghan King from the circle -- and bring in All-American Jessica Burroughs -- and manufactured the necessary tying runs on a sac fly from junior pinch-hitter Aidan Falk and an infield single from sophomore catcher Katie Alexander.

After allowing another run in the top of the sixth, junior first baseman Tera Blanco pounded a two-run double to the fence in right-center to propel U-M to its first lead of the contest, 5-4. However, just three outs away, the Wolverines could not hang on as FSU responded with a bases-loaded fielder's choice to plate the tying run in the top of the seventh inning, which proved to be the final completed frame.

Despite the frustrating outcome, the Wolverines carried some the momentum into the nightcap and scored early runs -- one apiece in the first and second innings -- to jump on Arizona State early.

Sophomore rightfielder Courtney Richardson set the tone, smacking a first-pitch single into leftfield to lead off the contest before senior shortstop Abby Ramirez walked and came around to score the winning run on a Blanco RBI groundout.

Senior third baseman Lindsay Montemarano singled to centerfield with two outs to drive another run in the second, while sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield knocked a first-pitch leadoff home run deep over the leftfield fence -- her third long ball of the season -- to cushion U-M's lead in the fourth.

Blanco (5-1) earned the victory in the circle, striking out five while allowing just three hits and one walk through six innings. Betsa entered in the top of the seventh and retired the final three ASU batters on 14 pitches.

The Wolverines (9-4-1) will remain in the Golden State for spring break, heading next to Fullerton, California, for their annual appearance at the Judi Garman Classic, slated for Thursday through Saturday (March 2-4) at the Anderson Family Field. U-M will open play with a rematch against Arizona State at 2:30 p.m. PST on Thursday. All Judi Garman Classic games this weekend will be streamed live on FloSoftball.com.

Communications Contact: Leah Howard

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