The Michigan Softball team used the long ball to scratch out a second win against Northwestern University 7-4, in the second game in the weekend conference opener for both teams. Game time temperature was 29 degrees with a north wind at 5mph for a wind chill of 24 degrees.
NW jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 3rd inning due to a rare home run given up by Jordan Taylor in the 1st . It was only her 4th HR surrendered in 125 innings pitched this season. Jordan finished the game giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 2.
Amanda Chidester knocked one deep into left field in the 5th inning with the bases loaded to put the Wolverines ahead for good. Chiddy went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Colie Sappingfield went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. It is her 14th game with multiple hits. Caitlyn Blanchard went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and Ashley Lane went 1 for 4 with 1 RBI.
Overall this was a good win for us. The bats finally came alive and we had key hits with runners in scoring position. It is not surprising to see so many long balls this weekend because of the cold weather.
Hutch looks like she will use Jordan in single games back to back. We only have 2 nmore double headers remaining on the schedule (barring weather).
Our next game is our home opener this Wednesday, 30MAR11 at 4pm.
EDIT: In other Big 10 action today: Indiana over Minny 4-2 and PSU over Wiscy 3-2 and Iowa over tosu 7-2.
Michigan is now 32-2 (2-0) on the year.
In Top 10 action; # 4 Georgia beat #2 Florida 5-1. That might drop #2 Florida down a few spots so Michigan might move up with 2 wins over a very good NW team. #1 Alabama blanked Arkansas 7-0.
The women's softball team won again early this morning, with a 5-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton.
Chiddy was the big stick by going yard (2 for 3) and 2 RBIs and a run scored. Dorian Shaw went 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Stephanie Speierman got the start and pitched 5,2 innings, She allowed 2 ER while strkingout 1 and walking 7, Jordan Taylor came in to face the final 5 hitters and struk out 2, 0 BB and 1 HBP (ouch, that's going to leave a mark).
Not a very good start for Stephanie but good enough for the win. We play tomorrow at 4pm against #8 Arizona. This should be a dandy.
Amy Knapp must have been reading MGoBlog. There has been a lot of chatter from people about the Wolverines not playing "anyone". This must have pissed Amy off because she came through bigtime tonight against The University of Central Florida. M won 10-1.
Amy hit a bases loaded double off the wall to clear the bases in the 6th inning giving Michigan 10 runs. All of this power from the #9 hitter. Nice Amy. Real nice.
UCF would not score in the bottom of the 6th to give Michigan its 17th win on the season, in mercy rule fashion. A yakety sax is in order but I am not HTML literate, so can someone please post one for us? This has become an MGoBlog Tradition.
Other offensive leaders tonight were Bree Evans, who went 1 for 2, scoring 2 runs with 1 RBI. Ashley Lane went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI. Amanda chidester went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Jordan Taylor was lights out. She gave up 1 ER (Season ERA .73) off 6 hits, while striking out 9 and walking 2. She continues to have a Hall of Fame year. Thats right. I said it. it had to be said and Im the one who proclaimed Jordan Taylor to be inducted in the Hall of Fame if she continues this pace. She just might break some of the lonstanding records at Michigan.
Michigan plays a scrimmage tomorrow against the Dutch National Team. i will provide an unpdate as soon as the game is complete.
For all of the MgoBloggers that think M softball has not play any real competition yet, can rest easier tonight. The M Softball team eeked out a close one against Valparaso today 2-1.
Stephanie Speierman got the win by giving up only 1 ER on 3 hits with 9Ks adn 2BB.
The offense was led by Bree Evans who went 2 for 4 and scoring 1 run. The other run was scored by Nicole Sappingfield as she went 1 for 3. Amanda Chidester went 1 for 2 with an RBI.
This game was key in several different ways. First, Stephanie pitched all 7 innings. This game was the closest for her. She pitched very well with 9Ks and only 2BB. The second key point is the offense was led by the top of the order (Bree and Nicole). The big guns were silent today so the small guns had to pick up the slack.
This is the biggest game of the year by a long shot. It was a bigger test than the Tulsa game earlier this year. Dont tell anyone but Hutch must have a crystal ball. She was able to get a key win, while showing confidence in Stephanie.
What is starting to concern me is that Jr. Stephanie Kirkpatrick is stll out. Now dont get me wrong, Amy Knapp is doing a great job in relief. I hope Stephanie K. is ok
No yakety sax for this win. A couple of high fives and an "atta boy" for sure.
The University of Michigan Softball team climbed into 7th place in the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings this week. The Wolverines started the season at #11 and won their first 15 games. The are powered by the dominating pitching of pre-season All-American Sr. Jordan Taylor (.68 ERA, 71 Ks and 6BB) and the strong offense led by Sr. 1B Dorian Shaw, another pre-season All-American.
The suprise of the year comes from my pre-season All-American selection 2B So. Ashley Lane. Ashley leds the team in RBIs at 22 and led most of the year in HR, which she is now tied with Dorian at 7.
This is welcome news because the 1-2 punch gives Coach Carol Hutchins an opportunity to keep the pressure on opposing pitchers. Those pitchers cannot pitch around Dorian because they will face Amanda Chidester (.650 slugging percentage and 15 RBIs) and then Lane. Hutch has Dorian batting 3rd, Amanda batting 4th and Ashley batting 5th. This trio accounts for the bulk of the RBIs and half of the Runs Scored.
The Wolverines are in Florida on spring break this week although they will be playing many games this week. I will keep the Blog updated daily.
Good Luck Ladies and GO BLUE.
The Michigan Softball team won again today by defeating Tulsa 4-3. Hutch gave the ball to Stephanie Speierman. She struggled early and gave up 3 ER on 6 hits, while having 3 Ks and 1 BB. She pitched 4.2 Innings. Jordan Taylor pitched 2.1 innings in relief. She faced 9 batters, with 0 runs, 4Ks, 2 hits, 0 BB.
The offense was led by Amanda Chidester going 1-2 (double) and knocking in 2. Stephanie Kirkpatrick had a single and an RBI.
We play again today (19FEB11) at 1pm against #26 UMass.