College softball: Nebraska upsets top-ranked Michigan
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Behind a masterful performance from junior right-hander Cassie McClure, the Nebraska softball team upset No. 1 Michigan 1-0 Friday night at Bowlin Stadium.
Senior Alicia Armstrong produced the game's lone run with an RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the third inning that scored junior MJ Knighten. That was the only run McClure would need, as she pitched the best game of her career.
McClure (14-6) scattered four hits in her second career shutout. Facing the nation's top scoring offense, McClure limited the Wolverines to their second-lowest hit total of the season while becoming only the second pitcher this season to shut out Michigan. The Wolverines were also held scoreless in a conference game for the first time since a 1-0 loss to No. 12 Minnesota on April 18, 2014.
McClure was in control throughout, but she also did well to work out of the few scoring chances Michigan mounted. McClure worked around a leadoff double in the top of the second inning, stranding a runner at third. The Wolverines got another runner to third in the top of the sixth before a pop out ended the threat.
In the top of the seventh, Michigan had runners at first and second for the top of its order. All-American Sierra Lawrence then hit a fly ball to the warning track in left that was caught by sophomore Gina Metzler. On the play, Michigan pinch runner Olivia Richvalsky tagged up, but a perfect throw from Metzler nailed Richvalsky at third for a game-ending double play.
The win was Nebraska's fifth straight conference victory. The Huskers improved to 25-12 overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play. Michigan fell to 27-4 overall and 5-2 in league play. All-American Megan Betsa (12-3) took the loss despite firing a two-hitter and allowing only one run.
Nebraska and Michigan meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m. Admission into Saturday's game is free, and admission is also free to the World's Largest Softball Tailgate, which begins at 10 a.m. in the parking lot beyond the left field fence of Bowlin Stadium.