Feb. 13, 2011
Site: Houston, Texas (Cougar Stadium)
Event: Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational
Scores: #11 Michigan 16, Ohio 3 (6 inn.)
Records: U-M (5-0), Ohio (1-4)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 18 -- vs. Long Island - FAU Kick-Off Classic (Boca Raton, Fla.), 4 p.m.
HOUSTON, Texas -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan softball team wrapped its season-opening tournament in similarly dominant fashion as it began it, earning a 16-3, six-inning decision over Ohio on the third and final day of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational on Sunday (Feb. 13) at Cougar Stadium.
Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) paced the Wolverines from the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run -- already her third of the season -- and a pair of walks. Junior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) also tallied two hits, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Shaw and Evans both tallied at least one hit in each of the Wolverines' games this weekend.
Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) earned the victory from the circle, improving to 3-0 on the year with a five-strikeout, five-hit effort through five innings. Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) entered in relief with the game already well in hand and struck out one of three batters faced.
Shaw provided her team its early advantage with a two-run shot in the first inning, following Evans' leadoff single up the middle with a right-centerfield bomb off the 3-2 pitch two batters later.
The Wolverines broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning -- all six runs coming with two outs -- and followed it with eight more runs in the next two frames to earn the run-rule margin. U-M took advantage of early Bobcat errors to put runners in scoring position for junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS), who smacked a two-run double in centerfield. Ohio brought in a new pitcher after back-to-back walks, but the move was short-lived as U-M scored three straight runs on illegal pitches before freshman catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield HS) smacked a run-scoring single through the right side to induce another pitching change.
Michigan scored on a run-scoring walk and senior rightfielder Alycia Ryan's (Morristown, N.J./Morristown HS) run-scoring single in the fifth before using three two-run hits to tack on another six runs in the sixth, including a two-run double from sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS), who ended the weekend with three extra-base hits.
The Bobcats earned their runs on a run-scoring groundout in the first and a pair of run-scoring hits in the fifth.
The Wolverines will continue their early season tournament schedule next weekend (Fri-Sun., Feb. 18-20), heading to Boca Raton, Fla., for the annual FAU Kick-Off Classic -- and their first of three straight appearances in the Sunshine State. Michigan will open place against Long Island (4 p.m.) and host Florida Atlantic (6 p.m.) on Friday.
N O T E S
Michigan improved to 6-3 in the all-time series against Ohio. U-M has won the last four series games against the Bobcats.
The Wolverines outscored their opposition at the season-opening Houston Invitational, 59-11, in five games.
With three wins on the season, sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman has already surpassed her win total from last season.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423