Feb. 21, 2010
Site: Baton Rouge, La. (Tiger Park)
Event: Tiger Classic
Scores: #4 Michigan 8, Oklahoma State 1
Records: U-M (6-2), Oklahoma State (6-4)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 26 -- vs. Missouri at NFCA Leadoff Classic (Columbus, Ga.), 11 a.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team surged in the late innings to rally past Oklahoma State, 8-1, in the consolation game of the Tiger Classic on Sunday (Feb. 21) at Tiger Park.
Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) was named the event's Tournament MVP after registering another solid performance from the circle. She struck out eight Cowgirl batters while allowing four hits and a walk en route to her fifth win of the season.
Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) and sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) were also named to the Tiger Classic All-Tournament team after combining for four hits and three runs batted in on the day. Viefhaus went 3-for-4 to headline the Wolverine effort from the plate, while Evans drove in a pair of runs in the fifth for her first multi-RBI performance of the season. Senior centerfield Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) also starred against the Cowgirls, hitting 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Cowgirls claimed the early advantage in the top of the second, stringing together back-to-back doubles, including a run-scoring bullet down the leftfield line from shortstop Chelsea Garcia. It was the first run allowed by Taylor in 15 innings.
After squandering an opportunity with runners in scoring position in the second, Michigan answered an inning later, using senior rightfielder Angela Findlay's (Lockport, Ill./East HS) walk and back-to-back base hits with one out to even the score. Viefhaus cranked a first-pitch shot through the right-side gap to move Findlay into scoring position, and St. Clair sent her home, curving a deep ball into rightfield for her second double of the season.
The Wolverines' big breakthrough came in the fourth as U-M took advantage of two hits, a walk and an error to manufacture three runs and take the lead for good. Michigan loaded the bases immediately after a leadoff walk, a fielder's choice and Bausher's perfectly-laid bunt just inches in front of home plate. Oklahoma State picked up a quick out, tagging out the lead runner on a comebacker to the circle, but U-M responded with a run apiece in each of the next three at-bats. Findlay smacked a fielder's choice to third base before Viefhaus roped a shot through the left-side gap and the Cowgirls' shortstop erred on a chopper to allow Findlay to score from third.
Oklahoma State made its second pitching change prior to the fifth, bringing Anna Whiddon into the game, and the Wolverines proved the move ineffective with four more runs in the next two innings. Whiddon issued back-to-back walks to lead off the frame, and Bausher made her pay with a first-pitch, run-scoring chopper up the middle. Evans connected with the first pitch in the subsequent at-bat, drilling a chopper of her own down the rightfield line to score junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) and Bausher from second base.
The Wolverines added a run in the sixth off another OSU fielding error. Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) hit a hard grounder to the Cowgirl shortstop, who misplayed the hop to allow Michigan's final run to trot home. Freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) earned her second career appearance in the top of the seventh inning, registering a quick 1-2-3 inning to put the game away.
Michigan will kick off its annual spring-break trip with a stop at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga., next weekend (Fri-Sun., Feb. 26-28). The Wolverines will open play against Missouri (11 a.m.) and Louisiana Lafayette (6:30 p.m.) on Friday at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.
N O T E S
With its victory today, Michigan improved to 4-5 in the all-time series against Oklahoma State
Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus' three hits against. Oklahoma State matched her career high. She also tallied three hits in the season opener against Chattanooga (Feb. 12).
Viefhaus leads the Wolverines with four multi-hit games this season.
Junior first baseman Dorian Shaw accepted three walks against Oklahoma State to bring her career total to 70 and move to eighth among Michigan's all-time leaders in the category.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the Wolverines' bounce-back win after yesterday's loss ... "Playing in your moment -- one-pitch softball -- means you don't get caught up in the score or the 'supposed tos.' I give Virginia all the credit in the world; they just played with nothing to lose, because they had nothing to lose. I thought we got a little tight around the edges, we pressed, and we didn't stay in our moment. Today, I thought we had to fight through that. We did get better at it as the game went on. The season evolves and I think we're good at staying in one-pitch softball, but we weren't as good as we could have been all weekend. But we fought through it.
"You always want to close out the weekend with a win. Am I pleased to come out of here 4-1? We had an opportunity to be 5-0, but we learned a lesson. As I told the kids after the game, as the season evolves, the most important thing we can do is trust our game -- trust your teammates, trust your coaches. Trust means no fear of the what-ifs. I think we're still getting better at it."
On the performance of senior centerfielder Molly Bausher ... "Molly Bausher is a real key to our offense. We put her up at the two spot today, but I really like her in the nine hole, because she makes a lot happen down there. She's effective, and that's what we need from her. When Molly is on, we score."
On junior RHP Jordan Taylor ... "She wasn't quite as sharp, but she got better at the end of that game. Jordan doesn't need to be on her 'A' game every game. Her focus, consistency and intensity continue to please me."
U-M Senior Third Baseman Maggie Viefhaus
On Michigan's win ... "We had a slow start in this game. You could tell that we were pressing and stressing. Once we got that out of our system, we were fine. It was definitely good to see us improve, and it showed us that we can shake it off and we do have the character to come back from a tough loss like that Virginia game. If you are going to have those occasional losses against random teams -- or if you're not going to show up to play -- then you'd better learn from it. I don't think our team really learned from it at first. It took a little kicking each other in the butt for us to come back and win. I think people got the message and now we can move forward."
On scoring ugly runs ... "We need to find any way to score, whether it's pretty or not. We did a good job of that today. Even when things didn't go our way -- I think we got doubled off about 3-4 times this weekend -- we came back and made things work."
On her early success this season ... "I feel like I'm playing softball like I know how. I don't see it as me doing great or as me doing poorly; I just see it as me playing softball like I've always played. It feels right now. I don't pressure myself or get down on myself if I don't get a hit. I don't get too high if I do get a hit. I just see it as me playing softball."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423