Wolverines drop out of B1G tournament final in Nebraska in Extras
Michigan fell to Nebraska, 3-1, in the Big Ten tournament final; NU drove in the winning runs on two straight RBI hits in the eighth inning.
UM tied the score on a Audrey LeClair Double RBI in fifth; Kristina Burkhardt paced the offense with two hits and two walks.
» HPR Alex Storako allowed just four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan softball team rallied to tie the score in fifth but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to Nebraska, 3-1, in eight innings during the Big Ten Tournament championship game on Saturday afternoon (May 14) at Michigan State’s Secchia Stadium.
Nebraska scored twice with two outs in the top of the eighth, drawing a walk and then scoring the kickoff with second baseman Cam Ybarra’s brace against the wall to right center on the following pitch. NU added another on an RBI single to left field on the next at-bat. The tournament title is the first for the Cornhuskers since joining the Big Ten in 2011.
The Huskers led for much of the game after a first-inning solo homer from Ybarra, the tournament MVP, but Michigan tied with a run in the fifth. First Year Designated Player Annabelle Widra took a throw from the helmet, slipped second and scored when the junior outfielder Audrey LeClair wrapped up a two-out RBI double to left center.
Michigan had the winning run on third base late in the seventh for an opportunity to get out, but couldn’t capitalize — helped, in part, by a tough call on base runs. The Wolverines used a pair of free passes to put in two no-outs before Nebraska turned two on a 4-3 double play. Michigan insisted on ducking the tag between first and second, while the first base umpire’s call came late and with immediate consideration, which was inconclusive without good angles of camera. A pop-out ended the threat on the next at-bat.
Graduate student aerialist Kristina Burkhardt went 2 for 2 with two walks and his 20th-best brace to pace Wolverine’s attack. Michigan posted just three hits but got seven free passes to leave eight stranded on contest basis.
Main HPR Alex Storako (23-8) was solid despite the loss, allowing just four hits and a pair of walks in 7.2 innings with four strikeouts.
Storako, Widra and fifth-year senior Taylor humps were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Michigan will receive its NCAA regional selection at the annual NCAA selection show, which airs at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday, May 15) on ESPN2.