Tuesday, Dec 06, 2016
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Marx, Merchant spark Michigan softball rally

RITTER

Jennie Ritter (37-4) fell behind UCLA 2-0 last night, but UM rallied for a 5-2 victory, forcing tonight's NCAA title game.

SUE OGROCKI / AP Enlarge

OKLAHOMA CITY - Becky Marx hit a two-run home run and Jessica Merchant added a two-run double as Michigan rallied to beat UCLA 5-2 last night and force a decisive third game tonight in the Women's College World Series championship.

Marx, who'd had only one hit in 10 previous World Series at-bats, lined a pitch from UCLA starter Anjelica Selden that just cleared the glove of a leaping Ashley Herrera as it sailed over the left-field wall. Herrera robbed Alessandra Giampaolo of a home run a night earlier.

Marx pumped her right fist in the air as she ran between second and third, and again as she headed home to a mob of teammates at the plate to tie the game at 2 in the top of the fifth.

Rebekah Milian followed with a single to center and Tiffany Haas reached when Selden threw wildly to first on Haas' bunt attempt. Giampaolo successfully advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt to bring Merchant to the plate.

The senior shortstop, who leads the top-seeded Wolverines (64-7) with 21 home runs, lined Selden's 1-1 pitch over UCLA shortstop Jodie Legaspi into the gap, and Milian and Haas raced home.

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