Romero grand slam powers No. 5 Michigan in Easton Bama Bash finale
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Fifth-ranked Michigan used powerful hitting and stingy pitching to wrap up its appearance at the Easton Bama Bash with a decisive 10-0, five-inning victory against James Madison on Sunday morning at Alabama's Rhoads Stadium.
The Wolverines knocked out two homers, including a second-inning grand slam by junior second baseman Sierra Romero, to complete the annual tournament with a perfect mark and their second consecutive team trophy.
U-M (13-1) registered a season-high 13 hits -- four for extra bases -- through the five-inning contest. Five different Wolverines registered multiple hits at the top and bottom of the order, most notably sophomore shortstop Abby Ramirez, who matched her career best with a 3-for-3 effort and two runs scored from the nine spot.
Romero and sophomore third baseman Lindsay Montemarano accounted for more than half of Michigan's runs on a pair of second-inning home runs.
Sophomore RHP Megan Betsa tossed a gem from the pitching circle, striking seven while allowing just one hit and three walks to improve to 5-0 on the season. Betsa set the tone with two strikeouts apiece in the first and second innings and ended the game with two more in the fifth en route to her first complete-game shutout this season.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, U-M didn't make the same mistake in the second, bombing out a pair of two-strike home runs with no outs. Montemarano followed a leadoff walk with her second blast of the weekend, driving it deep over the left field wall.
Back-to-back singles forced a Dukes pitching change and a subsequent fielding error loaded the bases for Romero, who lined it over the wall in right center field. It was her third home run of the season and eighth career grand slam.
The Wolverines plated four more in their next turn at the plate in the third. With runners on first and second and one out, sophomore left fielder Kelly Christner doubled to left center to score both, pushing U-M into run-rule territory, and came home herself when Romero doubled in the next at-bat.
James Madison again went to the bullpen, but freshman first baseman Tera Blanco kept the momentum going with an RBI single to center field.
James Madison put a runner on base with two outs in the fourth, but Betsa responded with a strikeout to end the threat and retired the side in the fifth -- with two strikeouts -- on just nine pitches.
Junior Kelsey Susalla was named the Easton Bama Bash MVP after hitting .412 with two home runs and seven RBI. She was joined on at the all-tournament team by senior Lauren Sweet, Romero and Betsa.