May 6, 2017
» No. 19 Michigan defeated Rutgers, 6-1 and 19-1 in five innings, to clinch its eighth straight Big Ten series.
» Michigan scored 25 runs on 34 hits in the twinbill, posting a season-high 23 hits and 19 runs in the second slate, including four home runs and a 10-run second inning.
» Katie Alexander posted two homers and a career-best five RBI in the second game, while Abby Ramirez and Natalie Peters both tallied five hits on the day.
Site: Piscataway, N.J. (Rutgers Softball Complex)
Scores: #19 Michigan 6, Rutgers 1; #19 Michigan 19, Rutgers 1 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (40-10-1, 19-3 Big Ten), RU (14-36, 5-17 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, May 7 -- at Rutgers (Piscataway, N.J.), Noon
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan softball team earned a doubleheader sweep to clinch its eighth straight Big Ten Conference series, defeating Rutgers, 6-1 and 19-1 in five innings, on Saturday (May 6) at the Scarlet Knights' Softball Complex. The Wolverines have also won eight straight contests down the final stretch of the regular season.
The Wolverines scored 25 runs on 34 hits, including a season-best 23 hits in the second game, through 12 total innings played on the day. Michigan posted five home runs in the twinbill -- four in the second slate -- and have tallied 19 long balls over a current eight-game win streak. Sophomore catcher Katie Alexander knocked out two homers and a career-best five RBI in the second game, while senior shortstop Abby Ramirez and sophomore outfielder Natalie Peters both posted five hits on the day; Ramirez tied a career best with four in the second slate.
Senior RHP Megan Betsa (22-7) struck out 12 and allowed one run -- unearned -- on four hits and five walks to earn the complete-game win in the series opener. Junior RHP Tera Blanco (18-3) allowed three hits through three scoreless innings to win in game two, while sophomore RHP Leah Crockett closed out the game with a strikeout, one hit and four walks allowed through two innings.
Game 1: Michigan 6, Rutgers 1
Michigan took advantage of a Rutgers miscue with two outs to plate two runs in the first inning and secure a lead it did not relinquish. The Scarlet Knights' shortstop could not handle a ground ball with the bases loaded, allowing one run to score and then another when Blanco was caught in a rundown between second and third base.
After a pair of scoreless innings, senior third baseman Lindsay Montemarano led off the fourth inning with a first-pitch home run to leftfield -- her third homer of the season and second in as many games. The Wolverines took advantage of small ball to break open the game in the next frame. Blanco punched an RBI single through the right side, freshman pinch runner Thais Gonzalez scored on a passed ball, and Blanco came home herself when Montemarano drove a sac fly into leftfield.
The Scarlet Knights spoiled Betsa's shutout win with a run in the bottom of the sixth after a passed ball put the runner in scoring position. Betsa issued a three-pitch punchout to get out of the inning and added two more to close out the game in the seventh. It marks her 19th game this season with double-digit strikeouts.
Game 2: Michigan 19, Rutgers 1 (5 inn.)
The Wolverines again jumped out to an early lead against Rutgers, plating three in the first inning after loading the bases with one out and broke the game open in the next inning with a 10-run second. U-M posted nine runs and nine hits, before Rutgers recorded its first out of the frame. Senior centerfielder Kelly Christner, junior first baseman Aidan Falk and Alexander all homered -- Falk and Alexander for three runs apiece -- while Christner, Ramirez and sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield all posted two hits in the inning.
Blanco smacked an RBI single up the middle to drive in another in the fourth inning, and Michigan posted another big inning in the top of the fifth with five runs, including two off Alexander's second long ball of the game -- a bomb to centerfield. Freshman pinch hitter Haley Hoogenraad and Blanco also posted RBI hits in the fifth; it marks Hoogenraad's second collegiate hit and first for extra bases.
Rutgers again spoiled the shutout bid late, scoring on an RBI single up the middle in the fifth, before Ramirez ended the game with a spectacular diving stop and flip to second base.
The Wolverines (40-10-1, 19-3 Big Ten) will wrap up the regular season tomorrow (Sunday, May 7), taking on Rutgers at noon at the Scarlet Knights' Softball Complex in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Communications Contact: Leah Howard