March 14, 2010
Site: Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
Event: Red and Black Tournament
Scores: #5 Michigan 3, Hofstra 1; #5 Michigan 7, #18 Louisville 3 (8 inn.)
Records: U-M (18-4), Hofstra (10-3), Louisville (15-8)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 18 -- vs. Arizona (Fullerton, Calif.), 11:15 a.m. PDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan softball team extended its winning streak to straight 10 games with a pair of wins on the second and final day of action at the Red and Black Tournament on Sunday (March 14) at Ulmer Stadium. The Wolverines knocked off Hofstra, 3-1, before using a big four-run surge to defeat No. 18 Louisville, 7-3, in eight innings.
Senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) set the tone at the plate against the host Cardinals with St. Clair posting a career-best and U-M season-high four hits, while Findlay knocked out a pair of home runs with three runs batted in. Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) tallied a base hit in each contest and drove in two of Michigan's three runs against Hofstra in the day's opening slate.
Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS), who registered the game-winning solo blast in the eighth, also took the win against Louisville, striking out eight while allowing three hits and one walk to improve to 6-3 on the season. Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) earned the win against the Pride, improving to 11-1 with a nine-strikeout, four-hit complete-game effort.
Extra-base hits provided Michigan its necessary runs in the top of the eighth against Louisville. Nemitz led off the frame with a liner over the fence in right centerfield -- her second home run of the weekend -- to put U-M ahead for good. With sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) aboard after a four-pitch walk, senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) ripped a run-scoring triple to the fence in rightfield. Findlay rounded out the game's scoring with her second homer of the contest, connecting with the 2-2 pitch and sailing into the street beyond the rightfield fence.
The Cardinals, despite putting a runner on with a base hit, had no response in the home half of the inning and went down on just 12 pitches.
The two squads traded runs throughout much of regulation. Michigan held the early advantage after St. Clair roped a run-scoring single down the leftfield line that the Louisville third baseman could not lay her glove on. After Louisville scored on a run-scoring single in the second, the Wolverine catcher reestablished her team's lead in the top of the third, knocking a towering solo home run -- her third of the season -- over the leftfield fence.
The Cardinals responded in kind in the home half of the inning, taking their first lead of the game as third baseman Chelsea Bemis followed a bunt single with a two-run homer down the leftfield line. Findlay evened the score two innings later, clanging a leadoff home run off the scoreboard in left centerfield. The two-homer effort marked Findlay's second multi-homer performance of the season; she owns seven long balls in Michigan's last 13 games.
The Pride struck first in the game's first slate, using small ball to manufacture a run in the top of the second. Pitcher Olivia Galati led off the frame with a double to the gap in left centerfield, directing a liner just beyond the reach of a diving Evans, before advancing on a wild pitch and trotting home on an infield groundout.
Bausher and Evans initiated the Wolverines' comeback with back-to-back RBI hits in the home half of the second. With two runners aboard after a base hit and walk, Bausher hugged a hard grounder down the leftfield line, scoring Nemitz from second base with her second double of the season. Evans took the game's next pitch and sent a low chopper up the middle, hopping it over the extended glove of Pride shortstop Krista Thorn, to score both U-M baserunners.
Michigan put runners on in each of the next three innings and had senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) just 90 feet away with one out in the fifth after the senior third baseman dropped her second triple of the season into rightfield but could not score again.
For her part, Taylor grew stronger as the game progressed. After giving up two hits and working herself out of a jam in the third, the Wolverine hurler retired 12 of the next 15 hitters -- undiscouraged by two Michigan errors -- with seven strikeouts to close out the game.
The Wolverines will return to action at the annual Judi Garman Classic this weekend (Thu-Sat., March 18-20) in Fullerton, Calif. U-M will open competition Thursday against perennial power Arizona at 11:15 a.m. PDT at the Titan Softball Complex.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423
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