Feb. 26, 2010
Site: Columbus, Ga. (South Commons Stadium and Complex)
Event: NFCA Leadoff Classic
Scores: #6 Missouri 2, #4 Michigan 1 (8 inn.); #4 Michigan 6, #18 Louisiana Lafayette 0
Records: U-M (7-3), Missouri (4-2), Louisiana Lafayette (9-3)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 27 -- vs. Southern Illinois (Columbus, Ga.), 11 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team split a pair of games to nationally ranked opposition on Friday (Feb. 26), falling to No. 6 Missouri, 2-1, in eight innings, before cruising past No. 21 Louisiana Lafayette, 6-0, on the first day of action at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, held at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.
The Wolverine pitchers were spectacular on the day, combining for 27 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed through 15 innings. Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) earned the victory against ULL in the nightcap, improving to 2-2, with 12 strikeouts and three hits allowed en route to her first shutout of the season. Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) lost the pitchers' duel against Missouri in the opener, striking out 15 while allowing five hits and a pair of walks in her second extra-inning effort.
Michigan matched a season low with three hits against Missouri but rebounded with a solid eight-hit performance against Louisiana Lafayette. Senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) tallied two base knocks in the nightcap, including a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) recorded a hit in each contest and drove in U-M's only run in the first game on a solo shot in the fourth.
The Wolverines spread its runs across several innings against the Ragin' Cajuns, scoring two apiece in the third, fifth and seventh frames. Senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) led off the former inning with an infield single to third base and after moving to second on a sacrifice, came home when the Louisiana Lafayette shortstop overthrew first base. Viefhaus trotted home one batter later when senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) singled to the shortstop.
Findlay's homer in the fifth followed sophomore Bree Evans' (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) base-hit comebacker to the pitching circle that glanced off Donna Bourgeois' leg and skipped to second base. Evans and Findlay led off the seventh with back-to-back base hits and, after a Viefhaus walk loaded the bases, the Wolverines capitalized on another Ragin' Cajun error to push one across. St. Clair sent a grounder to third base, and ULL got Evans out at home. However, in an attempt to double up St. Clair, Louisiana Lafayette's catcher overthrew first, allowing Findlay to score from third. Viefhaus scored in the next at-bat, racing home after junior first baseman Dorian Shaw's groundout to short.
In the earlier slate, Michigan and Missouri traded a run apiece during regulation play. The Tigers took the initial lead in the second inning with catcher Megan Christopher's leadoff home run. Viefhaus responded two innings later, floating her second home run of the season over the left centerfield wall.
Missouri broke the tie in the top of the eighth. With shortstop Jenna Marston starting the frame on second, via the international tiebreaker, the Tigers used a single and subsequent fielder's choice to send her home.
The Wolverines will return to competition tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 27), facing Southern Illinois (11 a.m.) and No. 9-ranked Alabama (1:30 p.m.) on day two of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Both games will be held at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423