College softball: No. 2 Michigan earns run-rule win over Ohio State
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Megan Betsa tossed a complete-game gem -- her second straight shutout -- to lead No. 2-ranked Michigan to an 8-0, six-inning win against rival Ohio State on Friday in front of a capacity crowd of 2,473 at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The Wolverines provided Betsa run support late, breaking the scoreless tie in the fourth inning and exploding for three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to secure the run-rule margin.
Betsa (15-3) struck out 13 through six innings -- her seventh game this season with double-digit strikeouts and second in a row -- while allowing four hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. She has not allowed a run scored in 18 straight innings.
She struck out five of the first seven Buckeyes batters faces, setting down the side on just 11 pitches in the second. Ohio State threatened in the third inning with two of its four hits, but Betsa responded back-to-back strikeouts to close out the frame.
Michigan tallied its first hit in the third inning and broke through in the fourth, using a fielding error and a walk to put two aboard before junior shortstop Abby Ramirez sliced a bouncing single just fair down the leftfield line to push across the game-winning run.
Betsa got out of another big jam in the top of the fifth. After intentionally walking the bases loaded with just one out, she rung up the next batter faced before sophomore catcher Aidan Falk reeled in a popped up foul against the backstop to end the threat.
Falk, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and four RBI to headline the Wolverine offense, broke the game open in the home half of the fifth, following back-to-back walk with a three-run bomb deep over the centerfield wall -- her fourth homer of the season.
Michigan posted four RBI hits in the bottom of the seventh, including a triple hard off the centerfield wall from senior rightfielder Kelsey Susalla and a double to the left centerfield gap from sophomore first baseman Tera Blanco in consecutive at-bats. With two on and still no outs, Falk drilled a hard one-hop single at the Buckeye shortstop; the ball took a bad hop into her shoulder and skipped into centerfield, allowing the game-ending run to score from second base.