M Softball wins nail-biter, now 16-0

Submitted by MGoSoftball on March 1st, 2011 at 6:42 PM

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.





March 1st, 2011 at 7:08 PM ^

UM's chance was last year and couldn't get it done in the Super Regional vs Tennessee last year.  We lost 5 starters, including a gutsy pitcher.  So far, there's a pretty big drop-off between Taylor and #2, but we still have time. 

 Our young players are doing well, but there are some weaknesses.  So, are we a likely national contender?  No, or at least the team better not be thinking t hat.  We need to concentrate on the Big 10 first.


March 1st, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

Just because it was a squeaker doesn't mean Valparaiso is top competition.  They are in the Horizon league and were 4th in that league last  year.

And, we won on a bases loaded error by the 3b for Valpo in the 7th.

I'm a big softball fan, but UM isn't playing anybody right now.




March 1st, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

that they haven't played anybody yet, despite this game being close.  I also think, though, that Steph pitching a full game, that was close at the end and more importantly, winning it, is a pretty big deal.  For confidence if nothng else.


March 1st, 2011 at 7:36 PM ^

as a SB fan then you know that good teams find a way to win.  Stephanie pitched her ass off today.  She deserved to win.  The offense was slow, but had 7 hits. 

These are the games that I am expect day in and day out.  I dont really like blow outs or mercy rule wins.  A respectable softball game is 2-1 or 3-2 at a maximum.  Its all about putting the ball in play and winning the close ones.

You say they havent played anyone.  Ask the opposing teams if they are anyone.  Softball is not baseball, where the better teams always win.  Softball is a game of strategy, like chess or  hand to hand combat.  I have coached in over 500 HS and JC games.  I can count on one had how many mercy rule wins I have had.

Even "weaker" teams can come up and bite you.  If you dont believe me, ask UCLA or Tennessee.  They both lost to "nobodys"



March 1st, 2011 at 7:59 PM ^

Well, even in baseball, a good pitcher can take a weak team pretty far.  Hutch keeps the team focused on the current game; they respect the opposition.  And, folks are gunning for them.

 Speirman has a good arsenal; she just needs to cut down on BBs.  She has about a 2 to 1 ratio of Ks to BBs, where Taylor is 10 to 1.  And, Speirman sometimes follows a BB or HBP wtih a WP.  However, she has a bulldog demeanor.  She doesn't look like she wants to come out when she gets in trouble.  And, Hutch is pretty committed to a 2-pitcher team, although at the end of the season she sometimes goes with one pitcher.

South Bend Wolverine

March 1st, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

Great to see Speiermann stand in there and pitch a solid game to get the W, even when the offense wasn't doing its best.

Happily, the O seems to be clicking in the second game of the day, as Michigan leads UCF 6 - 1 after four.  Can't wait for March 17-19 when we'll get our test against some solid West Coast teams!

South Bend Wolverine

March 1st, 2011 at 8:17 PM ^

UCF radio announcer is doing a very good job of being professional while watching his team get annihilated.  He clearly has nothing but respect for Hutch & the team.

OTOH, I do wish he'd quit pronouncing Chidester with a long "I".