March 30, 2011
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex)
Scores: #3 Michigan 4, Bowling Green 2
Records: U-M (32-2), Bowling Green (4-13)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 2 -- vs. Indiana (Wilpon Softball Complex), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan softball team claimed its third consecutive comeback victory, using a three-run fifth inning to edge Bowling Green, 4-2, in U-M's home opener on Wednesday afternoon (March 30) in front of 1,055 fans at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.
Sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) knocked out a two-run homer in the fifth frame to provide Michigan its first lead in the contest, pacing the Wolverines with a 2-for-4 effort from the plate. Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) and freshman Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community HS) also registered multi-hit performances, tallying similar 2-for-3 efforts with each knocking in a run.
Sophomore Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) earned the victory from the circle to improve to 15-0, striking six while allowing three hits and six walks through six innings. Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) entered in the seventh and needed just 12 pitches to set down the side, recording two strikeouts en route to her sixth save of the season.
Lane's home run -- her 11th of the season -- came with one out in the bottom of the fifth and immediately followed Chidester's full-count walk. Like her teammate, Lane worked the count, fouling off a few, before she connected with a pitch down the middle, hammering into the trees beyond the leftfield fence. The Wolverines quickly put runners back on base on freshman catcher Caitlin Blanchard's (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield HS) first-pitch single up the middle and senior designated player Marley Powers' (Owosso, Mich./Owosso HS) check-swing blooper to shallow leftfield, before Doyle skipped a low chopper up the middle to drive in an insurance run.
The two teams traded runs in the third after a pair of scoreless innings to open the contest. Falcon shortstop Hannah Fulk took the inning's first pitch deep into the centerfield bleachers to give BGSU the game's first advantage. Michigan responded quickly in the home half, loading the bases for Chidester, who roped run-scoring single into leftfield.
Junior centerfield Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS), who scored on Chidester's hit, appeared to have secured the tying run several batters earlier when, following her bunt single, an overthrow to first base rolled deep into the rightfield corner and allowed Evans to round the bases to cross home. The ball had stuck between the maintenance door, however, and the umpire subsequently directed Evans back to second.
The Falcons reclaimed the one-point advantage with a two-out bases-loaded walk in the fourth, scoring the run unearned after an earlier misplayed bunt on a sacrifice. With the bases still loaded, Lane picked up a low grounder and relayed to second to get U-M out of the jam.
The Wolverines will resume Big Ten Conference play this weekend (Sat-Sun., April 2-3) with a two-game series against Indiana. Both games are slated for 2 p.m. starts at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423