May 13, 2016
The Michigan softball team had little trouble advancing in its opening Big Ten Tournament game.
Michigan (45-4), the No. 1 seed, routed No. 9 seed Indiana 10-0 in a run-ruled, five-inning tournament quarterfinal Friday night at Penn State. The Wolverines, ranked No. 2 in the nation, advance to Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 4 seed Penn State. The winner will face either Northwestern or Minnesota in Saturday’s 6 p.m. Big Ten tournament championship.
Michigan jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on a two-run single off the right field wall by Tera Blanco, who was thrown out at second base. The Wolverines scored five runs in the second inning on RBI singles by Sierra Lawrence and Kelly Christner and a three-run homer by Kelsey Susalla. Michigan added three more runs in the third for a 10-0 lead.
Megan Betsa, the two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, earned the win after allowing one hit and one walk while striking out six in three innings. Sara Driesenga allowed a hit and two walks while striking out one in two shutout innings of relief.
Lawrence, Christner and Susalla all finished with two hits each for the Wolverines.
Michigan, which has won nine straight Big Ten regular season titles, defeated Nebraska 6-1 last year for its first Big Ten Tournament title since 2006. The tournament was on a four-year hiatus from 2009-12 – seasons that all ended with Michigan winning the regular season Big Ten title.