With the game tied at one in the bottom of the fifth inning, first baseman Lou Allan stepped up to bat with runners threatening at second and third base. She made strong contact with a 2-2 pitch, streaking it up the middle, scoring two runners to open the lead to 3-1.
The hit produced the game’s winning runs, as the No. 22 Michigan softball team (20-4 Big Ten) completed the double-header sweep over Maryland (11-16), winning 5-1.
Maryland drew first blood in the top of the second inning for their first run of the afternoon. After senior left-hander Meghan Beaubien fielded a ball from Megan Mikami off her body, where she was able to corral the ball after bobbling to record the first out, she gave up a full count walk to Ruby Butler. The walk was followed by a single to Taylor Liguori, loading the corners.
After a meeting on the mound, Beaubien threw a strike as Gracie Voulgaris showed bunt. Liguori thought about stealing but was unsure, causing a rundown that eventually caught her between first and second base. Butler scored in the process, giving Maryalnd an early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Wolverines struck back. With one out, senior infielder Taylor Bump launched a pitch half-way into the right field grandstands for a no-doubt solo shot to tie the game at one. Junior outfielder Lexie Blair then belted the ball into the base of the centerfield wall with two outs for a standup double, hitting safely in 23 of 24 games this year.
Blair was left stranded at second when senior infielder Natalia Rodriguez drove a pitch into the right-center gap, but centerfielder Jaeda McFarland robbed her of a potential extra base hit, sprawling for an acrobatic diving catch to end the inning.
Beaubien impacted the game not only as a pitcher but a fielder as well. Along with her play in the top of the second inning, Beaubien again found herself with fielding duties in the top of the fifth.
With a runner at second and two outs, McFarland hit a ball back at Beaubien, she struggled to handle it and was unable to make the play at first. Aggressive baserunning, however, cost the Terrapins. Pinch-runner Merissa Borkowski was waved home from second base, and Beaubien made a heads-up play, gathering herself and throwing it home to end the inning. Beaubien went on to field a pop-out in the top of the seventh as well.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Wolverines expanded upon Allan’s two RBI single, exposing the Terrapins’ pitching change from right-hander Trinity Schlotterbeck to left-hander Haley Ellefson to start the inning. After taking the 3-1 lead, a wild pitch advanced Allan to second. Jiminez then reached first base on a throwing error by shortstop Ruby Butler, scoring pinch-runner Kaylee Rodriguez in the process to go up 4-1.
The damage continued in the bottom of the sixth, where Blair sliced a double down the right field line, scoring graduate student Thais Gonzales from first base, expanding the Michigan lead to 5-1.
Along with Beaubien’s fielding, she also produced another stellar performance in the circle for her eighth win on the season. She surrendered four walks but only three hits in the one earned-run, complete game effort.
The Wolverines’ bats came alive in the second game of the double-header sweep. With continued dominance from Beaubien, Michigan cruised to victory.