Michigan Overtakes Minnesota with Big Fifth for Rubber-Match Win

April 20, 2014

Box Score | Notes

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #3 Michigan 7, #12 Minnesota 2
Records: U-M (36-7, 14-1 B1G), Minnesota (33-8, 11-5 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, April 23 -- at Purdue - doubleheader (West Lafayette, Ind.), 1 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Following an intentional walk to sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) in the fifth inning, senior cleanup hitter Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) drilled three-run double into centerfield, breaking a 1-1 tie in the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan softball team's 7-2 victory over No. 12-ranked Minnesota today (Sunday, April 20) at the Wilpon Complex.

Blanchard's double put Michigan up 4-1, providing the first three-run lead of the series. Runs were hard to come by in the first two games of the series due to some outstanding pitching performances from both teams (1-0 Minnesota win on Friday, 3-1 Michigan win on Saturday).

With her double, Blanchard is now 8-for-11 with 15 runs batted in following an intentional walk to Romero.

Three batters after Blanchard, junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) provided the exclamation point to the inning with three-run homer to centerfield. In all, Michigan sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth and scored six runs to take a 7-1 lead.

Freshman pitcher Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) showed flashes of dominance, striking out 11 Golden Gophers, including a stretch of five in a row between the fourth and fifth innings.

The righty no-hit Minnesota through 4.2 innings, before Sam Macken hit a homer in the fifth. In fact, the only other hit off Betsa was a second solo shot by Erica Meyer in the sixth.

The 11 strikeouts mark the fourth time Betsa has struck out more than 10 batters in a game this season. She tossed her fifth complete game of the season and improved her record to 11-3.

Romero gave Michigan its first lead in the third with a two-out screamer to center that cleared the wall for her 12th home run of the season. Blanchard finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI, while senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) and freshman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) also picked up a pair of hits.

With two wins in the series, the Wolverines cemented their place at the top of the conference (14-1). Following today's games, Purdue sits in second place with a Big Ten record of 11-4.

The Wolverines will next head out on the road for a doubleheader at Purdue on Wednesday (April 23) in West Lafayette, Ind. Game one is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the Boilermaker Softball Complex.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (mkasibor@umich.edu)

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