COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Fourth-ranked Michigan used powerful hitting and dominant pitching to cruise to a 13-1 win against rival Ohio State in its Big Ten Conference opener on Friday evening at Buckeye Field.
Megan Betsa (12-2) became more dominant as the game wore on, striking out the side in the fifth and sixth innings and adding two more in the seventh to match a career-best 14 strikeouts in the contest. She scattered four hits and a walk and allowed just one run on a first-inning solo home run.
Nine different Wolverines batters recorded hits, while Sierra Lawrence and Amanda Vargas tallied two apiece. The bulk of Michigan's runs came off four long balls; Kelsey Susalla, Aidan Falk, Sierra Romero and Taylor Swearingen all knocked one out, combining for 11 runs.
Ohio State took the game's first advantage on Taylor Watkins' solo shot to centerfield in the bottom of the first, but the rest of the game was all Michigan.
The Wolverines stole the lead with Susalla's two-run bomb in the second, following a first-pitch hit-by-pitch with a deep shot to center field -- her seventh of the season -- and added another long ball in the third when Falk drove a two-out, two-strike blast to right field to plate three more runs.
Tera Blanco earned a two-out RBI walk in the fourth before the Wolverines broke open the game with a seven-run seventh. Lawrence kicked off the surge with a two-run double to the base of the wall in left center field. Kelly Christner singled to keep the momentum going, and Romero bombed out a home run over the right field wall. After Blanco walked again to put a runner on base, Swearingen came in to pinch hit and knocked out another U-M homer, driving the 3-1 pitch deep to center field.