I did not make this headline up
Since dropping a pair of games on February 13th, Michigan's water polo team has been absolutely unstoppable, racking up an astounding 20 straight wins, including 5 against ranked opponents. Now ranked #6 in the nation, the team gets a bit of a break before heading off to the CWPA Eastern playoffs which run from April 29 through May 1, where they will seek their 4th straight Eastern title.
After that, NCAA playoffs will provide the final test of the season for the Wolverines, who should be making their 6th appearance and seeking their first title. Michigan's water polo program, though younger than the softball one, is in some ways analogous to it. The power in the sport is heavily concentrated out West, primarily in California. A quick scan of the current rankings reveals something like 15 of the top 20 teams in the nation located in Cali. The Wolverines' success of the years has been achieved against substantial regional odds. Now it is time to make that parallel with softball one bit better and start adding some titles!
The #2 Michigan Softball team won the second game of two critical contests today against Illinois at Urbana. The score of the second game was 9-7.
Michigan should be the #1 team in the nation with these two wins today. The #1 team, Arizona State lost on Friday so that should be enough to leap frog the Devils. #3 Texas also lost so there is no chance for the Longhorns to leap frog us. So the top 3 should be #1 Michigan, #2 Georgia, #3 Alabama or ASU. This depends on how far ASU falls in the polls.
Michigan was led by Senior Alycia Ryan. Alycia went 2 for 2 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored (3 run HR in the first). Ashley Lane went 2 for 3 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Bree Evans went 2 for 5 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.
The pitching woes continued into the second game today for Stephanie Speierman. She started the game but was roughed up in the 1st. She faced three batters, gave up 2 ER and recorded only 1 out and 1 BB. Hilary Payne came in to relieve her. She pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 3 ER (2 HR) on 7 hits. She also had zero Ks and zero BB. JT came in to pitch the final 2 innings to record the save; she gave up only 1 hit, a HR in the bottom of the 7th. JT also recorded a strikeout and 0 walks.
The Michigan Softball team won a very critical game today against Illinois. The socre was 8-6. This is the first of 2 games today at Urbana. This is a make-up game from yesterday's rain out. It is critical because Illinois is tied with Indiana for 2nd place atop the Big 10 standings. Indiana took 2 games from Wiscy this weekend to remain at 2 conference losses.
The game-time temperature was 61 degrees under sunny skies. The wind was from the West at 10MPH. This is wonderful weather for a ball game
The offensive hero was none other than my pre-season All-American selection Ashley Lane. She went 2 for 3 from the dish with 3 RBIs and 1 run scored from a HR. Ashley now leads the team in HR, RBIs, Slugging % and doubles. Amanda Chidester went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored via a HR. Nicole Sappingfield went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored.
Jordan Taylor was in the circle today. She wasnt her usual self today. This was one of the ugliest wins that I witness this year. But a win is a win. She gave up 6 ER on 9 hits (1 HR), she struck out 9 and walked 2. She also had 5 HBP. This is a very high number for JT. She will occasionally get 1 HBP per game but 5? Not her best outing for sure. But she gets the win which is the most important statistic.
This is the first game of a DH today. The second game is just as important because #2 Indiana is keeping pace with us. They only have 2 losses. #3 Illiinois has 3 losses after the first game today. #4 Iowa is currently winning against NU, they currently have 3 losses.
Is it just me, or have the Detroit Tigers been awful this year when it comes to runners LOB? Every time I tune in they seem to strand every runner on base. IIRC, the Tigers had the same sort of problem last year or two years ago.
Kind of sucks. I put a little money in yesterday and will likely have to leave the money there (for now). Maybe this is just a step in legalizing online poker.
OT: The "It's Way Too Early on Friday, But This Day Already Blows" What Are You Drinking Tonight Thread
Yes, I know it's the morning, but it's Friday, and my day already sucks! So what is everyone drinking tonight? I'm thinking a post-work sixer of Fat Tire will get me started for the Wings' and Spring Game tomorrow! Also, any big, cool tailgate ideas for tomorrow?