Wolverines Claim Midweek Rivalry Game against MSU

April 18, 2017

» No. 19 U-M scratched out runs in the fourth and fifth innings to defeat in-state rival Michigan State, 3-1, and claim the two-game midweek series.
» RHP Megan Betsa struck out 14 while allowing one run on five hits and seven walks; she surpassed 300 strikeouts on the season for the third straight year.
» Abby Ramirez posted two hits and an RBI to lead the Wolverine offense.

Box Score | Photo Gallery 

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #19 Michigan 3, Michigan State 1
Records: U-M (32-9-1, 12-2 Big Ten), MSU (21-17, 5-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 21 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 6 p.m. CDT

• Kornacki Postgame Feature: Betsa Carrying U-M as Workhorse Strikeout Pitcher

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan softball team competed the midweek series sweep against in-state rival Michigan State with a 3-1 decision on Tuesday evening (April 18) in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,300 fans at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. With the win, the Wolverines improved to 13-0 at home this season.

Senior RHP Megan Betsa (18-6) battled to earn the complete-game win in the circle, allowing one run on five hits and seven walk but dealing 14 strikeouts -- her fourth straight game with double-digit strikeouts -- to strand 11 Spartans base runners. With the performance, Betsa upped her season strikeout total to 306 strikeouts -- the best in the nation. She is the first pitcher in program history with three 300-strikeout seasons.

The Wolverines posted seven hits and took advantage of six free bases, including five hit-by-pitches, to scratch out runs in the fourth and fifth innings. With two runners in scoring position in the former frame, sophomore catcher Katie Alexander sent a roller to the MSU shortstop, scoring senior shortstop Abby Ramirez from third base on the fielder's choice. When the ball bounced off the catcher and rolled away, senior centerfielder Kelly Christner also came home to score.

After MSU narrowed the score with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, Michigan responded in kind in the home half of the inning to reestablish its two-run cushion. Blanco reached on a fielding error and was replaced on base by junior pinch runner Nikki Wald, who swiped second and then scored when Ramirez punched a single through the left side.

Michigan State threatened with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Betsa dealt a four-pitch strikeout to get out of the jam, and, after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, she struck out the side to end the game.

The Wolverines (32-9-1, 12-2 Big Ten) will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for a three-game weekend set against Wisconsin at the Badgers' Goodman Diamond. The series kicks off at 6 p.m. CDT on Friday (April 21).

Communications Contact: Leah Howard

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