No. 3 Michigan gets past Minnesota thanks to six-run fifth inning
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Caitlin Blanchard drilled a three-run double into centerfield, breaking a 1-1 tie, and No. 3 Michigan beat No. 12 Minnesota 7-2 victory on Sunday.
Following an intentional walk to Sierra Romero in the fifth inning, 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, Lauren Sweet 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.
Pitcher Megan Betsa 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 marks 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 liner to center that cleared the wall for her 12th home run of the season. Blanchard finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI, Lyndsay Doyle and Abby Ramirez 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).