Michigan Splits Pair of Games at NFCA Leadoff Classic

Feb. 27, 2010

Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2

Site: Columbus, Ga. (South Commons Stadium and Complex)
Event: NFCA Leadoff Classic
Scores: #4 Michigan 10, Southern Illinois 2 (6 inn.); #9 Alabama 10, #4 Michigan 6
Records: U-M (8-4), Southern Illinois (9-4), Alabama (11-2)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 28 -- vs. Maryland (Columbus, Ga.), 12:30 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Following a similar theme as yesterday's opening day, the No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team split another pair of games -- beating Southern Illinois, 10-2 in six innings before falling to No. 9 Alabama, 10-6 -- on the second day of competition at the annual NFCA Leadoff Classic on Saturday (Feb. 27) at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.

The Wolverines were solid for 12 innings on the day but succumbed to a big Alabama rally in the top of the seventh as the Crimson Tide drove in eight to overtake the home team.

Michigan was strong from the plate, posting nine hits apiece in the two contests and combining for 16 runs on the day. Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) posted back-to-back multi-hit efforts, going 4-for-8 on the afternoon with four runs scored. Senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) and junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) recorded two home runs apiece in game one vs. Southern Illinois; Findlay notched the second grand slam of her career in the sixth frame.

Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) earned the win against the Salukis, striking out eight while allowing four hits and three walks to improve to 6-1 on the season. Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) struck out nine Alabama batters in game two but gave up a career-high 11 hits, including six in the seventh inning, and three walks to fall to 2-3.

U-M built up a sizable advantage on the Crimson Tide late, scoring five runs between the fifth and sixth innings. With two on and one out in the former frame, Shaw lifted a two-RBI single into centerfield to reestablish her team's lead. Michigan tacked on another run off an Alabama throwing error and scored on senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus' (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) RBI single to centerfield in the sixth and another Crimson Tide error.

The advantage was short lived as Alabama used three home runs, including a grand slam, to overtake U-M in the seventh.

It was Michigan that dominated the long ball in the first game, knocking out five to roll past Southern Illinois. Findlay provided Michigan its first and final lead in the opening frame, following Evans' leadoff double with a two-run blast. Viefhaus knocked out a solo homer in the next at bat and after senior catcher Roya St. Clair's (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) walk, Shaw went long herself for her first of her two homers in the game.

Shaw's second homer run came as a solo effort in the third, while Findlay's second home run came with bases loaded two innings later in the sixth and brought an immediate end to the contest. Michigan earned consecutive base hits from sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS), senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) and Evans to lead off the inning before Findlay crushed the ball over the wall.

Michigan wraps up play against Maryland tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 28) on the third and final day of the annual NFCA Leadoff Classic. The game is slated for a 12:30 p.m. start at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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