Feb. 13, 2010
Site: Clermont, Fla. (NTC Softball Complex)
Event: NTC Elite Division I Invitational
Scores: #4 Michigan 12, Tennessee Chattanooga 1 (5 inn.); #7 Georgia 6, #4 Michigan 4
Records: U-M (1-1), Chattanooga (0-2), Georgia (1-0)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 14 -- vs. UCLA (Clermont, Fla.), 9 a.m.
CLERMONT, Fla. -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team split a pair of games at the NTC Elite Division I Invitational to open its 2010 season on Saturday (Feb. 13), rolling past Tennessee Chattanooga, 12-1, in five innings, before falling to No. 7 Georgia, 6-4, at the NTC Softball Complex. It marks the sixth time in 10 seasons that the Wolverines have started their season with a 1-1 record.
Michigan recorded contrasting efforts from the plate in the two contests, earning hits from all nine starters in the opener en route to 15 combined hits -- its most in three seasons -- before scattering five hits through seven innings against the Bulldogs. Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) tallied back-to-back multi-hit games, going 5-for-7 on the day with four runs batted in and two runs scored. Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) registered three hits from the leadoff spot against the Mocs, while sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) drove in two runs in each game and went 3-for-7 on the day.
Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) picked up her 51st career win in the opener, striking out eight against Chattanooga while allowing three hits, including two in the fourth inning. Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) did her part but was roughed up early in the nightcap, allowing six hits and six runs scored -- only two earned -- while fanning seven and closing out the game with four shutout innings.
The Wolverines shook off a slow start against Chattanooga with a big third inning, manufacturing four runs off five hits and three stolen bases. Senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) and Evans recorded two of the steals to put themselves in scoring position following back-to-back singles, and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) took advantage with a single up the middle that sent both runners home and provided Michigan the only advantage it needed. Findlay crossed home plate herself -- along with Viefhaus -- when Chidester drilled a single to rightfield
Michigan padded its lead with two runs in the fourth -- on back-to-back RBI singles from Viefhaus and senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) -- before exploding for six tallies in the fifth to push the margin into run-rule territory. After junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) belted an early two-run homer -- the 26th of her career -- over the centerfield fence, the Wolverines strung together three straight base hits to set up Findlay's bases-loaded walk. Viefhaus and St. Clair knocked run-scoring base hits into the outfield in the subsequent at bats to wrap up the game's scoring.
The Mocs spoiled Taylor's shutout bid with their two hits in the fourth. With centerfielder Lyndsey Stiles occupying second after a leadoff single and subsequent sacrifice, first baseman Michelle Fuzzard doubled to right centerfield to bring the run across. The Wolverine hurler responded by retiring the next five batters in order, striking out three.
Georgia took advantage of two U-M errors to build a sizable five-run advantage in the nightcap. After gaining the initial lead after a fielding error in the first, the Bulldogs tacked on three more unearned runs in the third after a dropped fly ball preceded an RBI groundout and two-run homer.
The Wolverines chipped away at the deficit, first evening the score with Viefhaus' run-scoring triple in the bottom half of the first before scoring two runs in the third and another in the seventh. St. Clair and Chidester used consecutive RBI doubles to produce runs in the former frame, and Chidester struck again with a two-out RBI double to leftfield in the final inning. With U-M down by two, freshman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) came off the bench to pinch hit but went down swinging to end the game.
For her part, Nemitz stymied the Bulldog bats in the final four frames, facing the minimum 12 batters with a pair of strikeouts.
The Wolverines will wrap up competition at the NTC Elite Division I Invitational tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 14) with a 9 a.m. meeting against No. 9 UCLA at the NTC Softball Complex.
N O T E S
The Wolverines improved to 3-0 in the all-time series against Tennessee Chattanooga and fell to 4-3 in the all-time series against Georgia.
Michigan's 15 hits against Tennessee Chattanooga were its most in a game since recording 16 against Iowa on February 13, 2007.
Chidester's two-double effort against Georgia was the first of her career. She boasts 11 career two-baggers.
Chidester boasted eight multi-RBI games last season.
Viefhaus recorded 14 multi-hit efforts last season. Her three hits against Chattanooga matched a career high.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423