March 5, 2010
Site: Tuscaloosa, Ala. (UA Softball Complex)
Event: Easton SEC/Midwest Challenge
Score: #7 Michigan 5, #8 Alabama 2
Records: U-M (11-4), Alabama (12-4)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 6 -- vs. South Carolina - Easton SEC/Midwest Challenge (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 11 a.m. CST
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan softball team used big home runs and a three-run seventh inning to rally past No. 8 Alabama, 5-2, in the opening day of competition at the Easton SEC/Midwest Challenge on Friday evening (March 5) at UA Softball Complex.
Senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) knocked out the game-winning home run -- her fourth long ball in six games -- with two down in the top of the seventh. Findlay, who went 2-for-4, was one of four Wolverine players with a home run, while sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) and sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) also recorded a pair of hits apiece.
Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) was stellar from the pitching circle, striking out 13 Crimson Tide batters while scattering five hits and three walks en route to her eighth win of the season.
It was Alabama that claimed the game's first advantage, scoring runs in the bottom of the first and third innings to carry a two-run lead midway through the game. The Crimson Tide earned base hits in their first two at-bats. Second baseman Kayla Braud singled to short and moved into scoring position when sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) overthrew to first. The error proved costly in the next at-bat when rightfielder Cassandra Boccia drilled a run-scoring double into right centerfield. Boccia homered in her next turn at the plate, driving a solo shot over the leftfield fence with one down in the third. It was just the second home run allowed by Taylor this season.
The Wolverines chipped away at the deficit, evening the score with single runs scored in the fourth and the sixth frames. Senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) accounted for the former tally, connecting with the 0-1 pitch and driving over the fence in straightaway centerfield. Chidester's solo home run, which she tucked just inside the leftfield foul pole, knotted the score at two apiece in the sixth.
Michigan carried the momentum into the next inning when, with two outs, Findlay and senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) homered in back-to-back at-bats to earn the Wolverines their first and final lead. Evans preceded the former blast with a triple to left centerfield -- the third three-bagger of her career -- and Findlay found the same area with the next pitch, hitting the top of the fence in left center and bouncing the ball over. With the bases clear, Viefhaus smacked the ball over the centerfield fence for her fourth home run of the season and the final run of the contest.
The Wolverines will resume play tomorrow (Saturday, March 6) for day two of the Easton SEC/Midwest Challenge in Tuscaloosa, Ala. U-M will face South Carolina at 11 a.m. CST and host Alabama at 4 p.m. CST at the UA Softball Complex.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423