staff, May 29, 2015

No. 3 Michigan used stingy pitching and a pair of home runs to knock off No. 5 Alabama, 5-0, in its opening game of the Women's College World Series on Thursday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

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The Wolverines, winners of 26 consecutive games, will play No. 7 UCLA at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday night.

Sophomore RHP Megan Betsa (31-4) was superb from the circle, scattering four hits and a walk while fanning six Crimson Tide batters en route to her 11th complete-game shutout of the season.

Sophomore leftfielder Kelly Christner gave U-M an early advantage with a first-inning solo shot, and senior catcher Lauren Sweet added breathing room in the fourth, pounding out a her second grand slam of the season. The home runs accounted for two of the Wolverines' four hits off Alabama All-American Alex Osorio. Junior second baseman Sierra Romero and junior rightfielder Kelsey Susalla also posted hits in the four-run fourth.

Alabama threatened with a pair of hits in the sixth and put another runner with two outs in the seventh, before Betsa issued a three-pitch strikeout to end the game.