The 2017 Big Ten Softball Tournament opens Thursday with first-round action, continues with the quarterfinals on Friday and the semifinals and the championship game on Saturday, with every game played at the University of Michigan's Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and televised live on BTN and BTN2Go. The full schedule and results can be found below (all times Eastern and subject to change).
Saturday, May 13 (Championship Game)
Saturday, May 13 (Semifinals)
Game 10 — #3 Ohio State 4, #7 Michigan State 3 (Box Score)
Lilli Piper and Emily Clark each hit two-run home runs to make the difference for No. 3 seed Ohio State in a 4-3 win over seventh-seeded Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on Saturday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Clark’s home run in the sixth inning gave the Buckeyes (35-15) a 4-0 lead and it proved pivotal, as the Spartans (31-22) tried to mount a comeback win for the third consecutive day, scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth. However, OSU’s Shelby McCombs, who came on in relief in the sixth, set down MSU in order in the seventh to earn the save and send her side to the tournament championship game for the third time in program history and the first since the Buckeyes won the title in 2007.
Ohio State will take on No. 1 seed and Big Ten Champion Minnesota in the championship game at approximately 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday live on BTN.
Piper finished with three hits and scored two runs for the Buckeyes, while Kaitlyn Eveland collected two hits and drove in a run during the Spartans’ sixth-inning rally.
Morgan Ray earned the win as part of OSU’s pitching staff by committee, allowing one earned run on two hits while throwing the middle three innings.
Kristina Zalewski took the loss for the Spartans, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four in her three-inning start.
Game 9 — #1 Minnesota 6, #4 Illinois 5 (Box Score)
Sydney Dwyer hit her second home run of the game leading off the bottom of the seventh inning to give Big Ten Champion and top-seeded Minnesota a 6-5 walkoff win over No. 4 seed Illinois in the first semifinal at the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday afternoon inside the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Both of Dwyer’s home runs sailed high over the center-field wall, with the game-winning blast clearing the outfield fence of the adjacent baseball field (Ray Fisher Stadium) to send the Golden Gophers (53-3) to the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the fourth time in five seasons. Minnesota, which will face either No. 3 seed Ohio State or seventh-seeded Michigan State in the championship game on Saturday at approximately 6 p.m. (ET) live on BTN, has won three conference tournament titles, including two of the past three crowns in 2014 and 2016.
Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year Kendyl Lindaman hit her 20th home run of the season and tied Dwyer with 74 RBI this season, blasting a grand slam over the left field wall in the fourth inning to highlight the Gophers’ five-run uprising that erased an early 2-0 Fighting Illini lead.
Illinois (37-18) rallied to tie the game at 5-5 on Stephanie Abello’s three-run home run to right-center in the top of the fifth inning, positioning the first Big Ten Tournament semifinal for its heartstopping finish.
Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Sara Groenewegen earned the win with two innings of perfect relief. Breanna Wonderly took the loss for the Fighting Illini, allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings spread between a starting and relief role.
Friday, May 12 (Quarterfinals)
Game 8 -- #3 Ohio State 3, #6 Wisconsin 2 (Box Score)
Third-seeded Ohio State scored three times in the second inning and held off a determined Wisconsin squad for a 3-2 win over the No. 6 seed Badgers in the last Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal on Friday night at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Shelby Hursh earned the complete-game victory for the Buckeyes (34-15), allowing two runs and four hits while striking out 10 batters. OSU will take on seventh-seeded Michigan State in Saturday's second tournament semifinal at 3:30 p.m. (ET) live on BTN.
Ohio State scored three unearned runs in the second, with Anna Kirk driving in the final tally on an RBI single to center. Wisconsin (33-15) pulled within a run in the sixth inning on Stephanie Lombardo's two-run single to right-center, but Lombardo was thrown out by Taylor White trying to stretch her hit into a double, the second outfield assist of the game for White.
Kaitlyn Menz took the loss in the circle for the Badgers despite not allowing an earned run and just five hits while collecting seven strikeouts.
Game 7 -- #7 Michigan State 5, #2 Michigan 4 (Box Score)
For the second day in a row, No. 7 seed Michigan State used a late-game rally to pull out a Big Ten Tournament victory, scoring three times in the top of the seventh inning to defeat second-seeded Michigan, 5-4 in the third tournament quarterfinal on Friday at Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Kaitlyn Eveland drove in the eventual winning run with an RBI single to left in the seventh, giving Spartans' head coach Jacquie Joseph her 800th career victory. It also sent Michigan State (31-21) to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2008, with the Spartans advancing to play at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday live on BTN.
Lea Foerster had three hits, two RBI and two runs scored for MSU. Bridgette Rainey picked up the win in relief, throwing the final three innings and allowing two runs on three hits, striking out four.
Michigan (41-11-1) had taken a 4-2 lead on Faith Canfield's two-run single in the fifth inning, as the Wolverines erased an early 2-0 deficit with two runs each in the fourth and fifth. Canfield and Abby Ramirez finished with two hits apiece for UM.
Megan Betsa took the loss in the circle for Michigan, going all seven innings and giving up five runs on eight hits with six strikeouts.
Game 6 -- #4 Illinois 3, #12 Penn State 0 (Box Score)
Fourth-seeded Illinois scored twice in the first inning and rode the strong pitching of Breanna Wonderly to a 3-0 win over No. 12 seed Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Fighting Illini (37-17) will make their first trip to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals since 2004 when they face Big Ten Champion and No. 1 seed Minnesota at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday live on BTN.
Wonderly gave up hits to the first two Nittany Lion batters of the game, but settled in from there, twirling a complete-game, three-hit shutout while striking out four. The Centerview, Missouri, native set down 14 consecutive Penn State batters between the first and sixth innings to earn the victory in the circle.
Alyssa Gunther delivered a RBI triple in the first and then scored on Ruby Rivera's suicide squeeze bunt. Rivera then drove in an insurance run for Illinois in the fifth with a single through the left side.
Marlaina Laubach went the distance for Penn State (23-33), allowing four hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out two and walking a pair.
Game 5 -- #1 Minnesota 5, #8 Northwestern 1 (Box Score)
Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Sara Groenewegen tossed what is believed to be the first no-hitter in Big Ten Tournament history as conference champion and top-seeded Minnesota defeated No. 8 seed Northwestern, 5-1 in a quarterfinal game on Friday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Groenewegen struck out 11 batters and walked two in pitching her eighth career no-hitter. She took a perfect game into the seventh inning before allowing a leadoff walk on a 3-2 pitch to Northwestern's Sabrina Rabin. The Wildcats (25-29) broke up the shutout when Rabin, who moved to second on a groundout and to third on a strikeout/wild pitch, scored on Morgan Nelson's foul sacrifice fly to left field.
Maddie Houlihan had three hits and Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year Kendyl Lindaman drove in two runs with a single in the sixth to highlight a three-run insurance frame for the Golden Gophers (52-3).
Nicole Bond kept Northwestern in contention much of the day before tiring in the sixth inning. She took the loss after allowing five runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Thursday, May 11 (First Round)
Game 4 -- #6 Wisconsin 3, #11 Iowa 0 (Box Score)
Freshman Kaitlyn Menz threw a complete-game three-hit shutout as sixth-seeded Wisconsin defeated No. 11 seed Iowa, 3-0 in the final first-round game at the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Menz allowed just one hit out of the infield (a single by Cheyenne Pratt to lead off the game) and one batter to reach third base while striking out six as the Badgers advanced to a quarterfinal game against third-seeded Ohio State at approximately 7 p.m. (ET) Friday.
Wisconsin (33-14) plated single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to support the strong effort by Menz in the circle. Brooke Wyderski had two doubles and Sara Novak added a pair of singles for the Badgers.
Shayla Starkenburg pitched well in defeat for the Hawkeyes (19-32), going the distance and allowing just six hits and three runs while fanning four.
Game 3 -- #7 Michigan State 8, #10 Indiana 7 (Box Score)
Pinch hitter Jordan Davis drilled a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to cap a four-run rally as No. 7 seed Michigan State edged 10th-seeded Indiana, 8-7 in game three of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Spartans (30-21) pick up their first conference tournament win since 2008 and move into Friday's quarterfinal round, where they will face in-state rival and No. 2 seed Michigan at approximately 4:30 p.m. (ET) live on BTN.
After rallying from an early 3-0 deficit, Indiana (23-31) broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. That set the stage for MSU's late-game heroics.
Kaitlyn Eveland finished with four RBI, including a three-run, first-inning home run for the Spartans, while Lea Foerster and McKenzie Long collected two hits apiece. Katie Lacfield and Gabbi Jenkins each had two hits for the Hoosiers, with Lacefield driving in a pair of runs.
MSU's Bridgette Rainey earned the pitching victory in relief, going the final five innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Tara Trainer took the loss in the circle for Indiana, starting and allowing eight runs in 5.2 innings.
Game 2 -- #12 Penn State 5, #5 Nebraska 0 (Box Score)
Penn State pitcher Marlaina Laubach went the distance on a two-hit shutout, setting down the final 11 batters she faced as the No. 12 seed Nittany Lions toppled fifth-seeded Nebraska, 5-0 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Penn State (23-32) is the second No. 12 seed in three seasons to earn a win in its Big Ten Tournament opener (joining Purdue in 2015) and the Nittany Lions' reward is a quarterfinal date with fourth-seeded Illinois on Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. (ET) live on BTN.
Leadoff hitter Rebecca Ziegler had two hits, two RBI and three runs scored, while reaching base in all four of her plate appearances for Penn State. Delaney Elling added a two-out, two-run single to center in the first inning to get the Nittany Lions on the board.
Kaylan Jablonski and Tristen Edwards had the only two hits of the day for Nebraska (24-29). Jablonski also tossed 5.1 innings in relief of starting pitcher Cassie McClure, who took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings.
Game 1 -- #8 Northwestern 6, #9 Purdue 1 (Box Score)
Eighth-seeded Northwestern scored six times in the first inning, providing all the offense it would need in a 6-1 victory over No. 9 seed Purdue to open the 2017 Big Ten Tournament on Thursday at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With the victory, the Wildcats (25-28) advance to the tournament quarterfinals on Friday and a matchup with Big Ten Champion and top-seeded Minnesota at 11 a.m. (ET) live on BTN.
Purdue (20-36) took an early 1-0 lead on Mallory Baker's home run to right field in the top of the first inning before Northwestern answered with its offensive explosion in the bottom of the frame. Sammy Nettling drove in a pair of runs with a triple to the wall in right-center field and Kenzie Ellis followed two batters later with a two-run home run to highlight the Wildcats' attack.
Nettling, Sabrina Rabin and Brooke Marquez each collected two hits for Northwestern, while Kaley Winegarner earned the complete-game victory in the circle, allowing just two hits while striking out eight.
Katie Johnson took the pitching loss for the Boilermakers, allowing six runs (five earned) on four hits in one-third of an inning.