Michigan softball (51-6, 21-2 B1G) entered Saturday afternoon's B1G semifinal contest with Northwestern (28-21, 14-8 B1G) ranked third in the country, and definitely lived up to its ranking, beating the 'Cats 9-0 one day before disposing of Nebraska for the conference championship.
Although NU hung around with the formidable Wolverines in the early innings, UM pulled away, getting to Wildcat pitcher Kristen Wood for four runs in the bottom of the third. Amy Letourneau came in to relieve Wood in the fourth and had similar results, allowing five runs over the next two innings, and letting the game end in "mercy rule" fashion on a two run shot by Michigan's Tera Blanco.
Megan Betsa was dominant from the circle for Michigan, striking out ten and allowing just one Wildcat hit from Letourneau.
Michigan finished its season on a 19-game winning streak, and was guaranteed a bid in NCAA Tournament by virtue of its conference title. Northwestern also received a bid despite a less than impressive overall record (they played the second hardest non-conference schedule in the country), and they will face off with Kentucky on Friday.