The softball team traveled to Indiana to play a double header under cloudy skies. Weekday conference games are rare as these schools are not exactly neighbors. Michigan climbed up the rankings from #12 to #9 this week.
M jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the 3rd inning. Haylie was in a groove and pitched well until the 5th inning. Indiana worked the bases full with two out but Haylie gave up a walk then a single down the line. Sara came in to pitch and she gave up a 2-run single before striking out the last batter in the inning making it 4-4.
It remained 4-4 through the 9th inning when Lyndsay Doyle reached 1st base on a single up the middle. Then the rains came and caused a 30 minute delay. We scored 3 in top of 9th for the 7-4 win.
Lauren Sweet went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Ashley Lane went deep and long for a solo shot in the 3rd. Sierra Romero went 2 for 5 with an RBI and run scored.
On another note: Sierra Romero was awarded Freshmen of the Week with her strong performance against Sparty. She WILL be the Freshmen of the Year for the Big Ten Conference and maybe the nation. Congrats to Sierra.
Bayern Munich's top executive today laments the lack of competition in the Bundesliga -- Bayern already won it with 6 to play, only needs 2 points to tie last year's record points total, and is +70 GD in 20 games. And Dortmund is way ahead of 3d on the German table:
And it's not just in Germany, right:
England: MU is 15 up on the table.
Spain: The big 2 are way ahead of the rest, as usual. But it's not just any year. Last year was a record point total for Real, and this year, Barca can eclipse that.
Italy: Something closer to actual competition, but not really by much -- Juve is like 9 up.
Is it all coincidence? The one factor that I can think might influence this is Financial Fair Play. Aren't all of the teams are looking at the next few years, fearing the inability to comply with FFP rules, so they are already cutting back spending? AC Milan is the most glaring example of this; Arsenal might be too (who knows, their spending is always criticized). But looking across the board, the BIG revenue teams are just scortching their leagues the last 2 years, almost in record fasion.
This in part gets to the problem with FFP -- it "freezes" current competitiveness, as big-revenue teams continue to get richer, and lower-revenue teams have no help of a burst of spending to catch up. I actually had a post on this a year ago or so, and some Euro footballer fans told me I was nuts. And well... I present you, argument #1, the current standing in Germany, England, Spain and Italy. So if you want competition, go watch France, or Ireland. (OK, not Ireland.) Or the CL... although, I'd point out, the CL's final 4 are 2 Germans and 2 Spainish, not exactly diversity. (Dortmund's heroic comeback made it so, however.)
Does all this lead, ultimately, so a Super League as has been whispered in the past?
Down two going into the 6th the ladies score 3 to take the lead. Sparty comes back with 4 in their half. Two HRs in the seventh tie it up and a run in the 8th gives the Wolverines the sweep.
The SB Team headed to East Lansing today for a double header. The first game is a make up from yesterday's postponement due to cold weather. Today, the 1st game was delayed due to a heavy snow squal in the area. The first pitch was about 3pm as the temperature warmed slightly to 40F.
The game was close for the first 4 innings. Then in the top of the 5th, the M bats started to warm up. Sierra Romero continued her hot streak by going long for a Grand Slam in a 6-run inning. We scored 3 more runs in the top of the 6th inning for the 11-2 lead. Sparty could not do anything in the bottom of the 6th; preserving the mercy-rule win for the Good Guys.
Sierra Romero finished 1 for 1 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored. She received an intentional walk as well. Ashley Lane went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs. Kelsey Susella went 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
Sara was the starting pitcher but was relieved in the 3rd by Haylie. Sara gave up 2 runs (1 ER) on 4 hits. She struck out 4 and walked none in 3.1 innings of work. Haylie gave up 0 runs and 1 hits. She struck out 4 and walked none. Haylie was credited with the win.
Michigan leads the Big Ten in team batting average. Sierra Romero lead the Big Ten in total bases and is in the top 5 in batting average. She leads the league in runs scored as well. This is due primarily to Caitlin's hot bat pushing Romero home.
What a difference a year makes when we were in the middle to bottom of the Big Ten in offense. We are 3rd overall in the league in pitching.
MSU was 2nd in the league heading into this weekend with a 7-2 record. This is somewhat misleading because MSU has not played ohio, Nebraska, Minny or NW yet. I stand by my prediciton that MSU will finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten.
The second game will start shortly and I expect another mercy-rule win. If so, this will make a mercy-rule sweep. We have not done that in over 3 years.
Sorry if this has already been posted, but I couldn't find it anywhere on the site. The 2014 Winter Classic logo:
EDIT: First link broke. Trying again.
Seriously, is Josh Reddick human? Perhaps he's more of a neadrathal than a modern man.
Staying in tonight watching the game with my first Oberon of the season - trying to recoup financially from the many spirits that were consumed during the final four.