M SB wins, IU loses, We are 1st place in B1G

Submitted by MGoSoftball on May 8th, 2011 at 4:23 PM

The Michigan Softball team won again today aganist Minny 8-1.  This comes off a lack-luster 4-2 victory yesterday.  Game-time temperature was 64 degrees under sunny skies.

Jordan Taylor got the start today.  Hutch is starting the "tourney run" today by pitching JT in back to back games.  I suspect JT will get the ball from here on out.  Hutch has been very good at not over pitching JT this year.  JT has 205 IP and SS has 120 IP.  Hutch has given Stephanie an equal amount of innings so that JT doesnt get burned out.  Now, with JT all tuned up, JT can begin the chase for the NC.

JT finished the day with 6 innings pitched.  She gave up 1 ER off 6 hits, with 10Ks, 3 BB and 1 HBP.  Stephanie Speierman came in the 7th to close it down. 

With her 10 strikeouts today, senior RHP Jordan Taylor has registered double-digit strikeouts in four of Michigan's last six games. She is the only Michigan pitcher in program history to surpass 250 strikeouts in each of her collegiate seasons.

Amy Knapp was the offensive hero today by going 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs and 1 run scored.  Amanda Chidester went 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.  Bree Evans went 2 for 4 with a RBI and run scored.

We dominated this game from the first pitch.  We came very close to another mercy rule win.  We play 2 against Lil Sister next weekend in a home and home series.  The Tournament pairings should be out Monday 16th or Tuesday the 17th with the tourney starting on Friday the 20th.



May 8th, 2011 at 4:48 PM ^

leading NW 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd.  It is on BTN now.  NW is playing tough today.  We need NW bigtime.

It is not critical that Indiana lose.  If we tie that will not hurt our seeding in the Tournament.  I would be nice for the girls to get a Big Ten ring though.


May 8th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

Yes, there used to be a tournament, as recently as 4 years ago, I think.  They used to play an intense regular season schedule, with travel partners playing 4-game weekends (1 Friday, 1 Saturday, 2 Sunday), and I think the coaches wanted an easier conference schedule that didn't require using the #2 pitchers quite as much.  So they dropped the Friday game and the Sunday doubleheader, but with the weather in Big Ten country that meant going to some mid-week doubleheaders and also extending the schedule a week and dropping the tournament.

I think some of the logic was that the tournament didn't really help the conference get any extra NCAA tournament bids, so what was the point?


May 8th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

I think we can be certain that Michigan will be a high 1-seed.  Notre Dame appears to be headed for the other regional host in the area, and Missouri will host a regional as well.

Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana are all 2-seeds, and Indiana can't be in our regional and Louisville can't be in Notre Dame's regional.  Let's put Louisville in Ann Arbor.

DePaul, Illinois and Illinois State are all likely 3-seeds, and since we already have a Big East and a Big Ten team in our regional, let's take Illinois State.

The 4-seeds will be teams in the tournament only because their conference has an autobid.  Miami (Ohio) seems to be the most likely candidate for Ann Arbor.

So, my projected regional--#1 Michigan v #4 Miami (Ohio); #2 Louisville v #3 Illinois State. 

I'm not Joe Lunardi, of course, so take it with a grain of salt.


May 8th, 2011 at 7:16 PM ^

that Louisville doesnt win the Big East Championship.  Illinois State is likely to come to AA provided that ND does not host a regional.  Illinois State could end up going to the Indiana regional (if they host one).


May 8th, 2011 at 7:28 PM ^

I don't think I am assuming anything about the Big East Championship.  No matter who wins it, Louisville is not going to be a 1-seed.  They are not ranked in either top-25 poll, so they are not climbing up to the top 16.  I don't see any way that Louisville hosts without having a top 16 ranking, so they will be a 2-seed and they will be on the road.

Notre Dame might play themselves out of a 1-seed, in which case Indiana might end up hosting instead (although I think Indiana played themselves out of any chance at that earlier today).  That still leaves Louisville either here or at Indiana or Missouri, and Kentucky the wild card.

Since Kentucky is a very high #2, and Louisville is a low #2, I think we get Louisville and Kentucky goes to Missouri or Notre Dame or Indiana.

Personally, I am seeing this--

Ann Arbor Regional--#1 Michigan v #4 Miami-O, #2 Louisville v #3 Illinois State

South Bend Regional--#1 Notre Dame v  #4 Eastern Illinois, #2 Kentucky v #3 Illinois

Missouri Regional--#1 Missouri v #4 Missouri-Kansas City, #2 Indiana v #3 DePaul



May 9th, 2011 at 11:46 AM ^

Yes, this is of course true to an extent.  The committee certainly uses geography--they are instructed to keep flights to a minimum (a flight is any trip over 400 miles).  They don't use any one system; they have their own rankings as well.  I agree with all of that.

But they have a history of not putting too much emphasis on the conference tournament.  Some, but not too much.  Michigan has lost conference tournament games (back when they had a Big Ten Tournament) and was never really hurt by it when it came time to seed.  I just don't see any way that a team like Louisville that is well outside of the top 25 by any measure (whether polls or RPI or computer rankings) can move up and get a top-16 seed.  There are too many other teams with a better claim.  Michigan and Missouri will absolutely have top-16 national seeds, and both Kentucky and Notre Dame have better claims on the third top seed in the area than Louisville does. 

Louisville only finished 5th in the Big East regular season (after Notre Dame, DePaul, Syracuse and South Florida).  They are only 12-7 in the Big East and 34-17 overall, while Notre Dame is 19-1 in the Big East and 44-8 overall.  A lucky win over Notre Dame in the tournament isn't going to overcome that much of a deficit.  Also, Louisville is only 3-7 over their last 10 games.

Notre Dame will be seeded ahead of Louisville, period.  The only question is whether Notre Dame gets a #1 seed, and I think with their record they manage that even if they lose in the first round of their conference tournament.


May 9th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

that ND should be a higher seed than Louisville.  I will wait until after Sundays game but I think we will be the #2 seed and ND, Kentucky or Missouri will be the #15 national seed.

All 3 of these teams are within a bus ride, Kentucky is about 5 hours, ND is only a couple and Missouri is the longest at 600 miles and 12+ hours (hardly a bus ride).  It is also possible that the tourney puts a Pac10 school (Arizona/Washington) at #15 and puts them in a Columbus OH regional.

Louisville could be in the Kentucky regional too.  Just as long as Tennessee is not in our Super.  We need to mix this up.  I doubt this will happen because TN should be higher than a #15 national seed.  

This is almost as interesting as  March madness. 


May 8th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

It's nice to see the team building some momentum as regionals draw near. It is particularly encouraging that Dorian Shaw seems to be coming out of a slight funk and hitting the ball very well recently. Amanda Chidester has been just spectacular lately in clutch hitting situations.

Of some concern is Ashley Lane, who had a horrendous weekend (0-7 with six strikeouts). Any theories on what this might be attributable to? Hopefully she can shake it off in short order.


May 8th, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

Dorian has been in a slump since the begining of April and the Big Ten Opener.  She is finally coming around.  The only thing I can think of is it possible that she is struggling with her classes?  or is there outside influences (boyfriend, home issues)?  Dont underestimate the power of a boyfriend on a softball player.

Ashley is in the same boat.  She is now going into a slump and just the wrong time.  We are going to need her in order to have a good run in the tourney. 


May 9th, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

...as in any softball (or baseball) slump that the player starts to let doubt creep in and begins to press.

It's probably best to leave the analysis to on the field factors and not bring in outside things about which you really have no earthly clue.


May 9th, 2011 at 11:03 AM ^

that one bad game can turn a good player into questioning themselves.  However, outside influences certainly play a factor, but it might not be the case for Dorian.  I dont know.  I was just making a comment as to possible causes.

I had a girl last year, my best player and #1 pitcher, fell apart half way through the season.  I started poking around and figured out what happened.  Her father is a National Guardsman.  He volunteered (yes volunteered) to serve in Iraq for 1 year.  The girl was devisated for 2 reasons.  1) Why is my father leaving me?  2) Will he ever come home?

So outside influences have an affect on girls more than guys.  I have seen this over and over for the past 20 years.  I have no data, only intuition but I believe this to be true.



May 9th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

You may be right, but it's completely stupid and irresponsible to be speculating on reasons a player may be struggling due to their personal lives, of which you have no information.

This is how stupid rumors get started.


May 8th, 2011 at 5:37 PM ^

The championship pairings will be announced a week from today (Sunday), between 10:30 and 11 pm EDT on ESPN News.  The regional starts Friday the 20th, unless we are unlucky enough to end up with Brigham Young in our regional, in which case it will start on Thursday the 19th.  Fortunately, the odds of the committee sending Brigham Young here are extremely low.



May 8th, 2011 at 6:23 PM ^

Michigan wins IU Loses were up 1 game!!!two left..1 more win clinches at LEAST a share of the B10 title..2 wins we win outright assuming IU wins both against Purdue....Things looking better by the day


May 8th, 2011 at 7:58 PM ^

Sappingfield was hurt on the last play of the game; came off the field not putting any weight on her leg.  Don't know if it was an ankle or knee injury.  Let's hope she's back in time for regionals. We can miss her for the MSU series, but hate to.  She's a great #2 hitter and a good fielder.

She was avoiding ss who was venturing into the outfield for a blooper; probably was Sappenfield's ball, but don't know that she called it.  Previous out was similar, except was barely out of the infield.





May 8th, 2011 at 10:12 PM ^

After the game coming out of the dugout Nicole seemed to be in a lot of pain and was on crutches with ice on the knee during the dinner after the game. Her mother came for the game and it's sad for her mom to have to see her get injured on mother's day. Hopefully it isn't anything serrious and she can come back quickly, she has a great bat and is a great fielder.


May 8th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

is one of our sparkplugs.  She is always putting the ball in play.  She is quick as a jack rabbit in the field too.  She is certainly a key to our success.

Hopefully it is only a bruise and she can start walking on it by the weekend and start practicing next week for the tourney. 


May 8th, 2011 at 11:00 PM ^

At first we thought it was an arm injury because of the way she landed, it was quite awkward. However, after a brief moment in the arm area, they immediately were examining the knee, which better explains the odd way in which she fell.  It did not look good and she was down for a long time with teammates immediately rushed away from her.  Hope it is only a minor injury.