March 5, 2014
Site: Los Angeles, Calif. (Easton Stadium)
Scores: #4 UCLA 4, #5 Michigan 1 (8 inn.)
Records: U-M (13-3), UCLA (17-0)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, March 5 -- at UCLA (Los Angeles, Calif.), 7 p.m. PST
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- After tying the game in the seventh to force extra innings, the No. 5 University of Michigan softball team allowed a three-run, walk-off homer in the eighth to fall, 4-1, to the No. 4-ranked UCLA Bruins on Tuesday (March 4) at Easton Stadium.
Until that point, freshman starting pitcher Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) stifled the Bruins with nine strikeouts. The two blemishes on Betsa's night were the game-winning home run and a second-inning solo shot.
From the third through the seventh innings, Betsa faced the minimum of 15 batters. The Maize and Blue defense turned a couple of nifty plays in the field to help that cause. In the fourth, a strike 'em out, throw 'em out ended the inning, as junior catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) delivered a perfect throw down to second. Then in the fifth, freshman second baseman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) snagged a hot shot liner and doubled off a runner at first.
Michigan put runners on in the second, third and fourth -- including loading the bases in the fourth -- but finally broke through in its half of the seventh. Sophomore Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) led off the inning with a double on the first pitch she saw over the right fielder's head. Pinch runner senior Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and pinch hitter senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) tied the game 1-1 with a frozen-rope one-hopper off the centerfield wall. When Betsa turned in a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, the game went into extra innings.
Betsa suffered her first collegiate defeat, giving up just three earned runs and six hits in seven-plus innings.
The Wolverines will turn right around and play UCLA again on Wednesday (March 5) at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. PST, and the game will be aired on the Pac-12 Network.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (firstname.lastname@example.org)