Saturday's college softball: Michigan bats stifled by Central Florida in extra-inning loss

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

The Michigan softball team struggled to generate offense and after holding an early lead, lost in a winner’s bracket NCAA Regional game at Orlando, Florida.

Hayley Bejarano provided the punch going 2-for-3 with two RBIs for No. 16-seed host UCF in a 3-2 win over Michigan in 11 innings on Saturday. The game lasted four hours and 15 minutes. Michigan had five hits in the game and could not muster a run the final six innings. The Wolverines also had two crucial infield errors.

Michigan pitcher Meghan Beaubien

Bejarano, who had the RBI double to tie the score, 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, scored the winning run on a double down the right-field line. UCF, ranked No. 18 nationally, has now won two games in the double-elimination regional, while No. 24 Michigan (37-17), which defeated South Dakota State on Friday, was supposed to play a late game Saturday, but severe weather forced resheduling. 

The South Dakota State-Villanova game will resume Sunday at 9:30 a.m., and Michigan will face the winner at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN+.

Kama Woodall pitched the complete game for the Knights and had 10 strikeouts while holding Michigan to five hits and two runs. Michigan used three pitchers. Meghan Beaubien got the start, Annabelle Widra and Alex Storako both got work, but Beaubien finished the game. She pitched 7 2/3 innings and gave up six hits and two runs and had seven strikeouts.

Michigan took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Widra’s RBI single to left. The Wolverines built a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Lexie Blair reached on a fielding error by second baseman Justene Molina allowing Ella McVey to score.

With two out in the sixth inning, UCF made it 2-1 on Ashleigh Griffin’s RBI double down the left-field line on a 3-2 count Michigan made a pitching change at that point, bringing in Annabelle Widra for starter Meghan Beaubien.

The Knights tied the game, 2-2, in the seventh on Bejarano’s two-out RBI double to right.

Evanston (Illinois) Regional

Notre Dame 16, Oakland 1 (5 innings): Notre Dame (40-11) scored two in the first, six in the second and three in the third en route to the mercy rule victory. Joley Mitchell had three hits and drove in four runs for the Irish. Madison Jones homered for the only run for Oakland, which ended its season 26-16.