No. 4 Michigan run-rules Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- No. 4 Michigan used timely hitting and dominant pitching to knock off Big Ten newcomer Maryland 8-0 in five innings in the series opener Friday evening at the Maryland Softball Complex.
The win marks the Wolverines' 12th consecutive victory.
Michigan manufactured eight runs on just six hits but drew six walks as well. Tera Blanco paced the Wolverines from the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run -- her fifth this season -- and four RBIs. Aidan Falk drove in a pair of runs on a single and a groundout, while Sierra Romero, Lindsay Montemarano and Abby Ramirez also posted hits.
After giving up a pair of hits in the first, Megan Betsa (21-4) grew stronger as the game progressed, allowing just one hit and a walk in the final four frames while striking out seven, including all three Terrapin batters in the bottom of the fifth. It is Betsa's seventh complete-game shutout of the season.
Lauren Sweet and Montemarano got on base in the second and quickly moved themselves into scoring position on a throwing error and stolen base, respectively, for Blanco. She then blooped a two-run single down the right field line to give UM the initial advantage.
The Wolverines added two more runs in the third on a Montemarano bases-loaded walk and Falk infield single and took advantage of a Maryland error to plate another in the fourth.
Blanco pushed Michigan into run-rule territory in the top of the fifth, following Falk's RBI groundout with a two-run bomb, connecting with the 2-2 pitch and driving high above the left center field fence.
Maryland put a runner on base with one out in the home half of the fifth, but Betsa responded with back-to-back strikeouts on just nine pitches to end the game.