Michigan softball gets revenge on Kentucky, stays alive in NCAA tournament

The Michigan softball team will live to fight for at least another day after knocking off Kentucky in the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
Michigan coach Bonnie Tholl talks with her team during a softball game against Kentucky during first
Michigan coach Bonnie Tholl talks with her team during a softball game against Kentucky during first / BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

On Friday, in the opening game of the NCAA tournament, the Michigan softball lost to Kentucky on a walk-off.

In the end, though, the Wolverines got their revenge. Kentucky knocked Michigan softball down, but not out. The Wolverines used a walk-off home run from Maddie Erickson in their second game, a victory over Northern Colorado on Saturday afternoon, which gave them another shot at Kentucky.

Then, after two home runs and a stellar effort on the mound from both Hannah George and Erin Hoehn, as well as some stellar defense, Michigan softball got its revenge via a 4-2 win. Kentucky has been knocked out of the NCAA tournament. The Wolverines, on the other hand, have advanced to the regional final on Sunday (3 PM EST).

Hoehn got the win for Michigan. She pitched four innings and allowed eight hits but just two runs. She didn't have a strikeout. Hannah George came on to finish the game and tossed three scoreless innings as the Wolverines wrapped up the win.

Lilly Vallimont belted a two-run home run in the third to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead. Kentucky trimmed the lead to one in the bottom half of the inning when Keke Tholl answered with another two-run shot in the top of the fourth, making it 4-1 U-M.

From there, Michigan sealed up the win with pitching and defense. Incredibly, the Wolverines won the game without a single strikeout. It's unclear if Lauren Derkowski, who pitched all three games in the Big Ten tournament and most of the first two in the NCAA tournament, will pitch Sunday. She got some rest in the loser-out game, but she'll be needed against Oklahoma State, the No. 5 overall seed.


Michigan would need to beat the Cowgirls twice on their home field to advance. That's a tall order but it's a much better than going home.