April 12, 2017
» No. 18 Michigan scored two apiece in the first and third innings in a 5-1 win against in-state rival Michigan State.
» RHP Megan Betsa matched a career best with 17 strikeouts, including fanning eight of the final nine Spartan batters faced.
» Aidan Falk went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI, while Natalie Peters tallied three hits from the leadoff spot.
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #18 Michigan 5, Michigan State 1
Records: U-M (29-8-1, 9-1 Big Ten), MSU (21-13, 5-5 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 14 -- at Maryland (College Park, Md.), 6 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior RHP Megan Betsa matched a career-best 17 strikeouts as the No. 18-ranked University of Michigan softball team earned a 5-1 midweek win against in-state rival Michigan State on Wednesday evening (April 12) in a game relocated to the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. Flooding in East Lansing prevented the Spartans from hosting as originally scheduled but remained the home team for the contest.
Betsa (15-6) allowed one unearned run off four hits and two walks and posted 17 strikeouts -- against 26 batters faced -- for the second time this year. She previously achieved the feat as part of a no-hitter in the home opener against Kent State (March 18). It was her 13th game this season with double-digit strikeouts.
Michigan plated two runs apiece in the first and third innings to provide Betsa solid run support early. Three of the first four Wolverine batters tallied hits as sophomore outfielder Natalie Peters, who tallied three hits in the game, and sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield singled, before junior rightfielder Aidan Falk roped a two-run double to the left-centerfield wall to drive in the winning runs.
Falk doubled again in the third inning -- she leads U-M with 14 two-baggers -- on a Texas leaguer that caused a collision between the MSU shortstop and leftfielder and allowed another Michigan run to score. Three batters later, after a walk and an error loaded the bases, junior designated player Amanda Vargas drew a full-count walk to earn an easy RBI.
The Spartans tallied their run in the home half of the third after their leadoff hitter reached on a spinning infield single, advanced on a wild pitch and a passed ball before scoring on a bloop single to centerfield.
Michigan used two hits and two sac bunts to reestablish its four-run cushion in the sixth. Sophomore catcher Katie Alexander led off with a roped single to leftfield, advanced on a two-strike sac bunt and another single and scored when Canfield put down a squeeze bunt -- that nearly got past the Spartans' pitcher.
Michigan State threatened in the previous half inning, loading the bases with one out in the fifth, but Betsa dealt back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam and then struck out the side in the sixth and seventh, setting down eight of the final nine Spartan batters via the strikeout.
The Wolverines (29-8-1, 9-1 Big Ten) will return to the road this weekend, heading to College Park, Maryland, for a three-game set against Maryland. The series kicks off a 6 p.m. on Friday (April 14) at the Terrapins' Maryland Softball Stadium.
Communications Contact: Leah Howard
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