Four Big Ten teams were selected to the 2015 NCAA Softball Tournament, as announced on the NCAA Selection Show Sunday night. [ MORE: View the official interactive NCAA bracket ] Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern will represent the conference in this year’s bracket, which will get underway on Thursday with regional action. Michigan will host the Ann Arbor Regional as the No. 3 seed. Michigan advances to its 23rd NCAA Tournament, having appeared in every event since 1995. The Wolverines, who have advanced to 10 Women’s College World Series in program history, enter NCAA play having won the Big Ten
Michigan junior Sierra Lawrence has developed into one of the top outfielders in the Big Ten conference. She showed the college softball world just how talented she is on Saturday night in the Big Ten Softball Tournament championship game. With Nebraska trailing Michigan 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Huskers senior Steph Pasquale drove a pitch to deep center. The ball looked like it was a sure bet to clear the center field fence, but then Lawrence jumped up and made an incredible catch, robbing Pasquale of a home run. Best of all: The reaction of Michigan pitcher
Michigan sophomore Megan Betsa has been nearly unhittable this season for the Wolverines. It was the same story on Saturday as Betsa tossed a complete-game gem, striking out 10 Northwestern batters and leading Michigan to an impressive 9-0 victory over the Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference Tournament semifinal matchup. Betsa allowed just one hit and didn’t walk a single batter in the victory. It marked her 11th double-digit strikeout game this season. With the win, Michigan will advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game, where they will face the winner of today’s Nebraska-Iowa semifinal matchup. First pitch of
Day 3 of the 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament featured three outstanding games, but in the end, it was the Michigan Wolverines who took home the conference tournament crown.
Iowa pitcher Shayla Starkenburg threw a gem on Friday night in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Minnesota. The Hawkeyes’ redshirt sophomore held the No. 2-seeded Gophers to just two hits and struck out four in a 2-0 win over Minnesota. The victory marked the first time Iowa has beaten Minnesota since back on May 12, 2012. Starkenburg now improves to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA on the mound in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa advances to play No. 3-seeded Nebraska in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday. Well done, Shayla!
No player in the history of NCAA softball has more grand slams than Sierra Romero. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] The Michigan star hit her record 10th career grand slam in Michigan’s Big Ten tourney quarterfinal vs. Penn State on Friday afternoon. Best part: Romero is just a junior, meaning she will have many opportunities to pad her lead. Romero’s 10th bomb with the bases packed highlighted Michigan’s explosive 13-run second inning. If the top-seeded Wolverines hold on, they will face No. 4 Northwestern in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.
Fact: The Michigan softball team is very good. Another fact: The Michigan softball team is full of fun personalities who really enjoy pizza.
Day 2 of the 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament featured four entertaining games on BTN/BTN2Go. Check out scores, stats, recaps and video highlights in this post!
Northwestern freshman Brooke Marquez probably thought she had a hit in her first at-bat in the Big Ten tournament Friday. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] Purdue centerfielder Kristen Hoppman had other ideas, however. Hoppman, on a line drive hit right back up the middle, sprinted in a few steps and dove to rob Marquez of a base hit, perhaps an extra-base knock. The play wasn’t nearly as easy as the centerfielder made it look. The ball was drilled and likely knuckling on its way out to her. The winner of the Purdue-Northwestern game advances
Iowa used a pair of long balls to erase a 3-1 deficit in its Big Ten tourney opener vs. Rutgers on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] First, it was Kaitlyn Mullarkey blasting a two-run shot in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score. An inning later, Sammi Gyerman stepped to the plate and followed with another two-run homer, this one to put the Hawkeyes ahead 5-3, which proved to be the final ledger. Gyerman and the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes will face No. 2-seed Minnesota in the quarterfinals