Michigan's Betsa throws 4-hitter in 2-0 win over LSU
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Megan Betsa had everything working.
Michigan's junior star threw a four-hitter and the Wolverines beat LSU 2-0 on Friday night in the Women's College World Series. She struck out eight and walked two in seven innings, and never allowed an LSU runner to reach third base.
''Earlier on in the game, it looked like they prepared for my rise and not really for my change, so I was just using that to my advantage, making sure I was throwing it low in the zone and keeping my whip just to fool the hitters, and it obviously worked,'' she said.
Betsa, the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, got just enough help.
With the game tied 0-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Michigan loaded the bases with no outs to chase LSU pitcher Allie Walljasper. Carley Hoover stepped in for the Tigers, but Michigan's Tera Blanco doubled down the right-field line and knocked in two runs.
''I was looking for a good pitch to hit and get it out in front,'' she said. ''She throws hard and I was just looking to hit the ball on the ground. I was really excited when I saw the ball off my bat, and I'm pretty sure everyone else was, too.''
LSU coach Beth Torina had no regrets switching pitchers.
''Carley has been great in relief,'' Torina said. ''I'd go to her any day of the week, all the time. I'm 100 percent confident in her. Still right now, I wouldn't change a thing I did.''
After Blanco's big hit, Betsa closed the deal for the Wolverines (52-5), last year's world series runners-up.
''I thought LSU played outstanding, and Walljasper was outstanding,'' Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said, ''but we were outstanding as well, and again, Megan Betsa gave us a great chance to win, and that's why we're sitting up here.''
Michigan advanced to play Oklahoma in a winners' bracket game Saturday night. Michigan senior Sierra Romero will play against her sister, Oklahoma freshman Sydney Romero. The two met in February, and Michigan won 16-9.
Oklahoma enters the game on a 28-game winning streak. Betsa isn't intimidated.
''Well, I throw a lot to my own hitters, and I think we have one of the best offenses in the country, and I'm pretty successful doing that, so I think if I can beat my own hitters, I can beat anyone in the country,'' she said.
LSU (50-17) will play Alabama in an elimination game Saturday.
''I think we've shown all year that we can fight,'' LSU's Sandra Simmons said. ''So I think if we come out and play our game and not press, because we're now in the losers' bracket, we're going to be on a really good side.''
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .