March 6, 2011
Boxscores: Arkansas | Ball State
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex)
Event: USF Under Armour Invitational
Scores: #8 Michigan 8, Arkansas 0 (5 inn.); #8 Michigan 8, Ball State 3
Records: U-M (21-0), Arkansas (8-11), Ball State (8-5)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 6 -- at South Florida (Clearwater, Fla.), 11:30 a.m.
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- University of Michigan head softball coach Carol Hutchins claimed her 1,200th career victory as the No. 8-ranked Wolverines picked up wins over Arkansas (8-0 in five innings) and Ball State (8-3) on the second day of the competition at the USF Under Armour Invitational on Saturday (March 5) at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.
With the Wolverines' two wins today, Hutchins improved her career coaching record to 1,200-412-4 over her 28 seasons and becomes just the sixth softball coach in NCAA history to reach 1,200. Hutchins ranks fifth among the winningest active coaches.
Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) claimed both victories, improving to 11-0 on the season, with 20 strikeouts and 10 hits and just one earned-run allowed through 11.2 innings of work. She tossed a complete-game shutout -- her fifth of the season -- against Arkansas in the day's first contest and entered with one down in the first inning of the nightcap to claim the win in relief.
Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) went 4-for-8 with four runs batted to pace the Wolverine offense, earning back-to-back two-hit games in the twinbill. Junior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) and freshman leftfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) were effective from the 1-2 spots, combining for seven total hits and seven RBI. Like Chidester, Evans recorded a pair of two-hit efforts, while Sappingfield extended her hitting streak to 16 consecutive games.
The Wolverines scored early and often against Ball State in the nightcap, scoring runs in each of the first three innings before finally shaking the Cardinals off with two runs apiece in the fourth and the sixth. Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) led off the former frame with a walk before her pinch runner, sophomore Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota HS), advanced on a passed ball and a single and came home on Lane's sacrifice fly to deep centerfield. Senior designated player Marley Powers (Owosso, Mich./Owosso HS) drove in another on a fielder's choice RBI in the next at-bat. Michigan added a couple of insurance tallies in the sixth when Sappingfield stepped to the plate with bases loaded after three singles and ripped the 2-1 pitch through the right-side gap.
The two teams kept pace through the opening two innings. Michigan earned its runs on a first-inning RBI walk from Powers and off a fielding error in the second, while Ball State somewhat similarly scored on a first-inning passed ball and a second-inning infield error.
Michigan took the lead for good in the third as Evans made the Cardinals pay for walking the bases full, connecting on the first pitch and driving a two-run single up the middle.
The Wolverines rolled to their third consecutive run-rule decision against Arkansas in the earlier slate, and just as it did in its previous two games, U-M used the first-inning long ball to set the early tone. After a quick strikeout and groundout, Shaw initiated the two-out rally with a single to centerfield, before Chidester connected with the 0-1 pitch in the subsequent at-bat and drove it high over the wall in left centerfield for her fourth home run of the season.
Chidester contributed to Michigan's three-run second inning as well, again making contact with the 0-1 pitch and driving a two-out RBI single into deep centerfield. Freshman rightfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community HS) kicked off the offensive surge with one down in the inning, singling on a comebacker to the circle before advancing on an error and scoring on Evans' two-run double up the middle.
The Wolverines added another three runs in the bottom of the fourth to wrap up their scoring. U-M used sophomore shortstop Amy Knapp's (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore HS) leadoff walk and an Evans single to put speed on the base path for Sappingfield, who sliced a screamer down the leftfield line to score the former, before, just two pitches later, Shaw smacked an RBI single to leftfield. Chidester drove home Michigan's final run on an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Michigan will wrap up play the USF Under Armour Invitational tomorrow (Sunday, March 6), taking on host South Florida at 11:30 a.m. at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423