Michigan softball wrapped up its fall slate tonight with a 3-2 win over Michigan State in front of the home fans at Alumni Field. The offense slopped around yet again, blowing a couple big opportunities, once with a base running error, and later by leaving the bases loaded with a chance to put the game out of reach. Tera Blanco was a bright spot, reaching base in all 3 plate appearances, but we'll need more than that come spring.
Pitching, however, was a different story. Senior Tera Blanco went 3 perfect innings to start the game, pitching 3 strike-outs and looking like a player in total command. Freshman Sarah Schaefer entered in the 4th, and looked a little wobbly. She allowed 2 runs in 2 innings, as MSU closed the gap from 3-0 after 3 to 3-2 after 2.
As the game got a little close for comfort, Hutch sent out her ace to close the show. Emerging star Meghan Beaubien came out in the 6th and shut the door on the Spartans. She did issue a pair of walks in the 6th, but also managed a ground-out, a fly-out, and a strike-out to retire the side. In the 7th, an unlucky dribbler put the tying run aboard with one out, but she would advance no further. A K and a ground-out ended the frame and the game.
Beaubien ends fall play with the following stat line: 18 innings pitched, 4 hits, 3 walks, 32 Ks. It'll be a long winter waiting to see more of this young phenom. Early returns are excellent, though, and sorely needed. With the offense looking doubtful, Beaubien will need to be elite from day one for this team to win the Big Ten and make noise in the playoffs. So far, so good.
Michigan ends fall exhibition play with a record of 6-0.