Late Breakthrough, Top Four Hitters Propel Michigan to Win at USF

March 6, 2011

Box Score

Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex)
Event: USF Under Armour Invitational
Scores: #8 Michigan 7, South Florida 2
Records: U-M (22-0), South Florida (11-10)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 12 -- at Louisville (Louisville, Ky.), Noon

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan softball team used a three-run fifth and four-run sixth to earn a 7-2 decision at South Florida in the finale of the USF Under Amour Invitational on Sunday afternoon (March 6) at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. The Wolverines complete the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record and extended their season-opening win streak to 22.

The Wolverines struggled to solve USF left-handed starter Sara Nevins, who posted a season-high 13 strikeouts on the day, before finally breaking through with two down in the fifth. Freshman rightfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community HS) reached on an infield single to short before coming home two batters later when junior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) hit a run-scoring double to the wall in leftfield. Evans raced home herself when freshman leftfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco HS), who extended her hit streak to 17 games, connected with the next pitch for an infield single. Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) laced a run-scoring single down the leftfield line to add one more run before inning's end.

Michigan carried its momentum into the next inning, manufacturing four runs off five hits and an error to pull away from the Bulls. Sophomore shortstop Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore HS) and Evans drove in runs on back-to-back base hits -- the former on a double down the rightfield line and the latter on an infield single to short. Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) capped the Wolverines scoring with a two-run double to the wall in right centerfield, earning her third multi-run batted in effort of the weekend.

Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS), who earned the victory with a three-strikeout, five-hit effort, lost her shutout bid late when USF first baseman Stephanie Medina knocked a two-run shot over the fence with two down in the sixth. Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) entered the game and retired the final four batters on just 11 pitches.

Michigan will look to carry its momentum into next Saturday and Sunday (March 12-13) at the Louisville Tournament in Louisville, Ky. The Wolverines will face Louisville and Western Kentucky twice each, beginning with a noon game Saturday against the host Cardinals.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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