It has been a walk-off kind of weekend so far for the Michigan softball team. On Friday, Michigan beat Kentucky by a score of 3-2 on a walk-off double. On Saturday, the Wolverines upset Louisville, the host team of their regional, with a different kind of walk-off. Michigan's Caitlin Blanchard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the Wolverines a 2-1 victory and sending them to the regional final on Sunday.
Just like Friday, Michigan had to shake off a rough top of the seventh inning on Saturday. The Wolverines entered the seventh inning up 1-0, but they blew the lead by giving up a run on a sacrifice fly. Louisville wasn't able to take the lead, and Michigan wasn't able to score in the bottom of the seventh. In the eighth, Michigan held Louisville scoreless. In the bottom of the inning, Michigan put runners on first and third thanks to a blown call at third base. Michigan capitalized by taking a walk to load the bases, and the game came to an end when Blanchard was hit on the very first pitch of her at-bat.
With the 2-1 loss, Louisville was sent to the loser's bracket. There, the Cardinals took on Kentucky, which eliminated Valparaiso with a 5-4 victory following the Michigan game. Kentucky was eliminated on Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to Louisville, setting up a rematch between the Cardinals and Wolverines in the regional final. If Michigan wins the first game, it will advance to the next round of the 2012 NCAA softball tournament. If Louisville wins, then another game to decide the winner of the regional will be necessary.
Here's a look at the updated bracket for the Louisville Regional:
Friday, May 18
Game 1: Michigan def. Kentucky, 3-2
Game 2: Louisville def. Valparaiso, 6-4
Saturday, May 19
Game 3: Michigan def. Louisville, 2-1
Game 4: Kentucky def. Valparaiso, 5-4
Game 5: Louisville def. Kentucky, 3-2
Sunday, May 20
Game 6: Michigan vs. Louisville (1 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3)
Game 7 (if necessary): Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser (3:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN3)
You can check out the full 2012 NCAA softball tournament bracket right here.