Softball shuts down Northwestern, 4-0

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on April 2nd, 2017 at 4:49 PM

In front of another sold out crowd at Alumni Field on a beautiful day, #20 Michigan took on Northwestern in the finale game of the weekend series.

This game was extremely similar to yesterday's game. Northwestern got a hit in the 1st inning that amounted to nothing and it would one of their very few hits they'd get against Michigan.

Michigan came out swinging again, but couldn't push the runs across in the 1st inning.

In the 2nd inning, Katie Alexander got the scoring started with an RBI single for her first hit of the weekend. She was the last one on the team to get a hit against Northwestern this weekend, but it came at the right time as it gave Michigan a 1-0 lead.

One inning later, yesterday's pitcher Tera Blanco got hit by a pitch that wasn't called an HBP. She instead took that call and smacked it to LF the very next pitch for an RBI single to make it 2-0 Michigan.

In the 4th, the speedy Natalie Peters beat out the throw to first on an infield single that scored Kelly Christner, making it 3-0 Michigan. The next at bat, Faith Canfield would belt the ball past the LF wall for a 2-run homer, but Peters unfortunately left early which got Northwestern out of the inning without giving up the bomb since there was 2 outs.

Michigan would add one more run in the 5th on a sac fly from Abby Ramirez to make it 4-0.

Megan Betsa shut down Northwestern once again. She gave up just two hits and only one the rest of the game outside of the 1st inning. Betsa had 9 Ks. 

Michigan wins, 4-0. The Wolverines outscored Northwestern by a combined score of 20-0 on the weekend.

Michigan is now 26-7-1 and 6-0 in the B1G. 

Next up, Michigan will head down to face Ohio State next weekend. The first game is on Friday at 6pm. 

Comments

M Ascending

April 3rd, 2017 at 9:45 AM ^

A major noteworthy point:  Yesterday's game marked the SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE SHUTOUT VICTORY for our softball team.  The last team to score on us was EMU on March 22nd.  Since then we've beaten PSU 3 times, CMU once, and NU 3 times, outscoring them 48-0.  We are also on a 12-game winning streak.

The pitching from both Betsa and Tera Blanco is phenomenal, and is also much needed, given that our offense is nowhere near as productive as it was last year.  (We have already been shut out 3 times this year and held to 1 run on two other occasions.)  But the offense does seem to be rounding into better form and we should be a team to be mightily reckoned with come tourney time.  We are far better than our #20 ranking this week would indicate.

South Bend Wolverine

April 2nd, 2017 at 7:22 PM ^

The team is definitely rounding into form.  Next weekend will be a key test, as our series will feature the two teams tied atop the conference standings.  That & the Wisconsin series, if the Badgers can get off the schneid, may well determine our conference season.

RoseInBlue

April 2nd, 2017 at 7:57 PM ^

Neither team has proven elite but they're not scrubs.  They're at least good enough to try and steal a game on a good day.  And considering our offense hasn't been particularly consistent, they could sneak through and take one from us.  Although, Betsa and Blanco have apparently decided that giving up runs is evil which will make that tough for them but I don't expect that to last the rest of the season.

Solecismic

April 2nd, 2017 at 8:55 PM ^

Ohio State can hit, though, and they have played a tough schedule. They could present problems next weekend. I doubt the shutout streak lasts.

Wisconsin being ranked is one of the more puzzling facts out there. No idea on what that was based. The Badgers are probably the 6th or 7th best team in the conference.

While I think Michigan will win the conference regular season, the tournament is much tougher and Groenewegen gives Minnesota someone every bit as dominant as Betsa.

RoseInBlue

April 3rd, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

Yeah, it's been cool watching Blanco sort of come into her own.  She's still not quite there yet but she will be.  And with Betsa graduating, it's up to her and Leah Crockett in the circle next season unless 1 of the 2 incoming freshmen is a stud right away.

South Bend Wolverine

April 3rd, 2017 at 6:25 PM ^

Fortunately one of the incoming freshman is a young lady named Meghan Beaubien, who is widely regarded as being the truth.  We've certainly seen great freshman seasons before - witness Jordan Taylor & Haylie Wagner in recent memory - so there's good reason to hope that Beaubien will be cut from similar cloth.

That said, if Blanco continues trending up, that's still obviously great - just takes that much pressure off Beaubien in terms of having to be the absolute ace from day 1.

Solecismic

April 3rd, 2017 at 8:34 PM ^

No kidding about Beaubien. Just to give those of you who haven't heard, she's from Monroe, Michigan, and going into her senior season is already a two-time state player of the year.

She's a lefty and can mix up her pitches well, strikes out a ton of opponents and is near or at the top of many national recruiting lists. And she committed to Michigan very early, which is the norm in softball. Perhaps before she was old enough to walk.

You can never be certain about a prospect, but this is as sure as it gets.

Pitching is funny. Blanco has had some tough times, but I'd say she's establishing herself as a top-five pitcher in the Big Ten this year.