Feb. 19, 2012
Site: Boca Raton, Fla. (FAU Softball Stadium)
Event: FAU Kickoff Classic (Day 3)
Score: #11 Michigan 4, Wright State 0
Records: U-M (8-1), WSU (4-5)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 24 -- vs. Illinois State at NFCA Leadoff Classic (Clearwater, Fla.), 3:30 p.m.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored four unearned runs in the fifth inning and recorded its fourth consecutive shutout with a 4-0 win over Wright State in the finale of the FAU Kickoff Classic on Sunday morning (Feb. 19) at FAU Softball Stadium.
Junior RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond) went the distance for her first win of the season, striking out nine while allowing five hits in her second career shutout. Senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) and freshman Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) each recorded two hits, as U-M tallied seven against the Raiders.
After going four innings without scoring, the Wolverines broke through in the fifth with four runs on the strength of four hits and a costly error by the Raiders. With two outs, Evans singled to the pitcher to give Michigan its first baserunner of the frame. Sophomore outfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) followed with an infield single to bring senior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) to the plate with runners on first and second. The WSU shortstop misplayed Chidester's grounder, allowing Evans to score.
With Doyle on third and Chidester on second following the miscue, freshman DP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) doubled over the centerfielder's head to clear the bases and score two more runs. Sweet completed the Wolverines' scoring in the inning with a single to rightfield, scoring Wagner from second.
After allowing the first two runners to reach base to start the seventh, Speierman struck out the next two batters to put Michigan on the brink. The next batter flew out to Doyle in rightfield to seal Michigan's 4-0 win.
The Wolverines are back in action next weekend (Feb. 24-26) at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla. U-M will first take on Illinois State on Friday (Feb. 24) at 3:30 p.m.
N O T E S
Lauren Sweet started in leftfield for the first time in her career.
Michigan's pitchers extended their scoreless innings streak to 28, having not allowed a run since the sixth inning against Maryland on Feb. 17.
U-M moved to 5-0 all-time against Wright State.
RHP Stephanie Speierman improved to 21-1 during her career. It was the second complete-game shutout of her career and first of the seven-inning variety. She one-hit Central Michigan in an 8-0, five-inning victory in her first career start (April 14, 2010).
All four of Michigan's runs were unearned, coming after an error in the fifth with two outs.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the weekend as a whole ... "We started off with a really bad game against Maryland. I thought we owned it, took ownership of it, and then put it behind us. We came back with a good game against Long Island and then beat a very good Kentucky team. I am very pleased with how we were able to do that. You have to be able to bounce back; that is the No. 1 rule in softball."
On the four consecutive shutouts ... "I am not really big on the shutout, but it is a great way to beat someone. Shutouts are a team effort. We have a versatile pitching staff this year. They are each focused on pitching one inning at a time right now. You have to stay in the moment and just pitch that inning. The game against Kentucky and then today against Wright State are great examples of that. That group is doing a really good job at working to get better every game, which is what their motto is for this season."
On where the team goes from here ..."We have a big road trip coming up next week. We need to continue to work on improving and getting better every day. I think that our team needs to continue to stay enthused and involved during each game. We have a great opportunity coming up to play ball for 10 straight days, and we need to take advantage of it."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423