TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan softball pitching staff continued its early-season dominance this afternoon (Friday, March 12) as sophomore Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) became just the 12th hurler in Michigan history to register a no-hitter. Ritter faced only one over the minimum, struck out nine and walked none in a 3-0 win over Notre Dame at the Florida State Invitational. She carried a perfect game into the seventh before hitting a batter with one out for the Irish's only baserunner in the game.
Ritter retired the first 19 Irish hitters she faced.
Offensively, seniors Meghan Doe (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino HS)
and Jennifer Olds (North Palm Beach, Fla./Suncoast HS)
continued their consistent performances, with Doe registering two hits and Olds drilling her fifth home run of the season with a two-run shot in the first inning.
The Wolverine offense gave Ritter all the help she would need in the first when leadoff hitter Tiffany Haas (Santa Ana. Calif./Foothill HS)
drew a walk to open the game and two outs later scored on Olds' blast over the fence in leftfield. Ritter showed she had some of her best stuff early on, striking out two in the Irish half of the first and inducing a foul popout to the catcher for the third out.
In fact, through the first four innings Ritter was so dominant only three Notre Dame hitters were even able to put the ball into fair territory. The Michigan sophomore forced nine of the first 12 hitters she faced to either strikeout (six) or foul out (three).
With Ritter in complete control, Michigan added a run in its half of the fifth when Doe delivered a two-out, run-scoring single to plate Michelle Teschler (Casco, Mich./Richmond HS)
. Teschler had reached on a fielder's choice and stole second before scoring on Doe's single up the middle.
The additional lead did not cause Ritter to let up as the Dexter native K'd three of the next six hitters to take her bid for only the fourth perfect game in school history into the seventh inning. Staring down the top of the Fighting Irish order, Ritter set down the leadoff hitter on an infield popup but then hit Notre Dame leftfielder Nicole deFau for her only mistake of the contest. The final two hitters went down without much trouble as Ritter closed the 20th no-hitter in Michigan history and the first since Marissa Young's (2000-03) perfect game against Utah State on Feb. 16, 2002.
Michigan continues pool play at the FSU Invitational later today against Georgia State at 4 p.m.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the performance of Jennie Ritter ... "Obviously, she pitched extremely well. She was calm and had a confidence about her the entire game. Our pitching staff has been unreal from the start of the season and is very important to our success. The key for Ritter today -- and it is something that she has steadily improved throughout the season -- is she pitched ahead in the count most of the day and stayed within herself."
N O T E S
Jennifer Olds has now homered in four of her last six games.
Jennie Ritter has struck out 34 hitters over her last 20.2 innings without issuing a free pass.
Michigan is now 7-4 all-time against Notre Dame.
Contact: Rich Marion (734) 763-4423