The 2017 Big Ten softball tournament got underway Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich., starting with four first round games.
Thursday’s results can be viewed below.
No. 8 Northwestern 6, No. 9 Purdue 1 (recap from nusports.com)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Northwestern exploded for six runs in the first inning and Kaley Winegarner chucked a career-best two-hitter in the circle to lead NU past Purdue, 6-1, in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday at Alumni Field.
Northwestern continues its season with a 25-28 overall record. Purdue’s year comes to a close with a 20-36 mark.
Northwestern now advances to play No. 1 seed Minnesota in a quarterfinal matchup at 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, May 12, live on Big Ten Network.
No. 12 Penn State 5, No. 5 Nebraska 0 (recap from gopsusports.com)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – For the second-straight season the Penn State softball team earned the victory over Nebraska in its first game of the Big Ten Softball Tournament with a 5-0 shutout over the No. 5 seeded Cornhuskers hosted by the University of Michigan at the Wilpon Complex Thursday, May 11.
Coming in as the No. 12 seed, the Nittany Lion win marks just the second time since the 2008 season when the Big Ten Tournament bracket expanded the conference tournament that the No. 12 seed upset the No. 5 seed. The last team to do so was Purdue in the 2015 campaign when it defeated No. 5 Illinois 3-2.
Penn State will play in the quarterfinal game Friday, May 12 with a 1:30 p.m. contest against the No. 4 seeded Fighting Illini of Illinois.
No. 7 Michigan State 8, No. 10 Indiana 7 (recap from msuspartans.com)
Michigan State opened the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday afternoon with an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Indiana. Trailing 7-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Spartans rallied for four runs, capped by a two-run pinch hit double by Jordan Davis that gave the Spartans the go-ahead run.
Having completed their three-game Big Ten series just three days ago, the two teams were familiar foes, playing their fourth game in six days. Tara Trainer, who three-hit MSU last Friday in a 1-0 IU victory, went 5.2 innings before the Spartans got to her in the bottom of the sixth.
MSU took an early 3-0 lead on a homer by Kaitlyn Eveland in the bottom of the first inning, but the Hoosiers came roaring back with five hits (four doubles) in the top of the second, then once MSU had tied the game on a Lexi White homer IU added a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 7-4 lead.
Michigan State, the No. 7 seed, plays No. 2 Michigan Friday at 4:30 pm.
No. 2 Wisconsin 3, No. 11 Iowa 0 (recap from bigten.org)
Freshman Kaitlyn Menz threw a complete-game three-hit shutout as sixth-seeded Wisconsin defeated No. 11 seed Iowa, 3-0 in the final first-round game at the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Menz allowed just one hit out of the infield (a single by Cheyenne Pratt to lead off the game) and one batter to reach third base while striking out six as the Badgers advanced to a quarterfinal game against third-seeded Ohio State at approximately 7 p.m. (ET) Friday.
Wisconsin (33-14) plated single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to support the strong effort by Menz in the circle. Brooke Wyderski had two doubles and Sara Novak added a pair of singles for the Badgers.
Shayla Starkenburg pitched well in defeat for the Hawkeyes (19-32), going the distance and allowing just six hits and three runs while fanning four.