April 4, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex)
Score: #2 Michigan 8, Wisconsin 0 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (26-5, 3-0 Big Ten), Wisconsin (8-20, 0-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, April 7 -- at Indiana - doubleheader (Bloomington, Ind.), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored in every inning to claim its series sweep against Wisconsin in abbreviated 8-0, five-inning fashion on Sunday afternoon (April 4) in front of 1,188 fans at Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field. The victory, which brought an end to the Wolverines' four-game home stand, extended their home winning streak to 23 consecutive games.
Michigan earned the bulk of its production at the top of the order, where sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) drove in two runs on a second-inning home run. Junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) went 1-for-1 in the contest, driving in three runs on a two-run double and a subsequent run-scoring walk.
Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) was golden from the pitching circle, improving to 11-3 on the season with a six-strikeout, one-hit performance. Nemitz has won nine consecutive starts.
Shaw's double in the opening frame provided Michigan the only advantage it needed. Findlay and senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) accepted back-to-back walks -- on 10 pitches -- to put two runners on for the Wolverine first baseman, who lifted a towering fly ball into left centerfield that hit off the top of the fence and bounced back into the park. The two-bagger was Shaw's third of the season; she boasts a team-high 14 extra-base hits.
Michigan padded its lead with three more runs in the second, using small ball to manufacture the first before Findlay went deep to rightfield for her career-high ninth home run of the season. With freshman pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota HS) occupying third base after a Nemitz leadoff walk and a subsequent sacrifice and groundout, Evans sent a run-scoring liner up the middle into shallow centerfield. Just two pitches later, Findlay launched a liner of her own into the bleachers beyond rightfield.
Nemitz used another liner to score the Wolverines' run in the third inning. Shaw took an inside pitch off the hip to reach base from the leadoff spot before Nemitz roped the 0-1 pitch to the rightfield wall for an RBI double.
Senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) led off the fourth with a hard grounder down the leftfield line, skipping the ball to the right of the Badger third baseman to extend her hitting streak to a career-long five games. After back-to-back hit batters, Shaw accepted a five-pitch, bases-loaded walk to score the Wolverine centerfielder from third.
The Badgers spoiled Michigan's no-hit bid in the fifth -- just as they did the day before -- on a hard-hit grounder to the shortstop position. Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) moved to get a glove on it but could not make the throw to first in time. Kirkpatrick responded with the game-ending run in the home half of the frame, scoring from second base on Evans' chop double over the third baseman's head.
Michigan will kick off a four-game road swing on Wednesday (April 7), heading to Bloomington, Ind., for a 2 p.m. doubleheader against Indiana at IU Softball Field.
N O T E S
With today's win, the Wolverines improved to 28-4 in the all-time series against Wisconsin. Michigan has won 16 straight games against the Badgers.
Junior first baseman Dorian Shaw improved her season average to .361 (30-for-83) with her first-inning double against Wisconsin and took over Michigan's team lead in the category. Shaw boasts a five-game hitting streak, matching her career long.
The Wolverines have tallied at least one home run in their last five games and seven of their last eight. Michigan owns 42 on the season with 11 double-digit homer performances.
Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans boasts 14 multi-hit efforts on the season and carries a career-best .355 batting average -- a 36-point improvement over her 2009 average.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the Wolverines' weekend sweep ... "We talk a lot about playing hard. That's our mantra right now -- playing hard. The kids really like UConn basketball; they've been following it. And one thing we know about UConn is they're very intense, they practice really hard, and they play every game the same -- no matter who they're playing. I like that mentality, and I think that's a Michigan softball mentality. That's our goal for the year -- just play hard, be intense and play every game the same. We certainly did that this weekend. We did an excellent job of staying within ourselves, and good things happened."
On senior centerfielder Molly Bausher ... "We just need Molly to be consistent; she struggled with that a bit over her first few years. Our goal is consistency for all of them. If Molly can maintain that .300-plus average and on-base percentage for us -- that's critical. We need that from the bottom of the order. The No. 9 hitter is a really important role, and you give it to one of your speedsters and good hitters. To me, it's a place of honor. Her job is to have good at-bats, turn the lineup over and to make things happen down there. I have maintained that when Molly Bausher is getting on base, we're winning games. Just get on base, and there's so much you can do. You put Molly in front of Bree [Evans], and you can do some run and gun. We didn't do so much of that this weekend; we were hitting."
U-M Senior Centerfielder Molly Bausher
On performing in the No. 9 spot ... "It's about performing at your position in the lineup, and I think our lineup is working great the way it is. It's a big position to be the No. 9 hitter. When Bree [Evans] and I are able to get on base back-to-back, that causes the defense to rush and make errors -- they don't pay attention to their fundamentals as much when we're both on base. That's really what we need to capitalize on, so our big hitters can come through and hit us in. Hutch always preaches that the best percentage on our stat sheet is on-base percentage; it's not necessarily you're batting average. Whether it's a hit, a walk or an error, getting on base is what we need. Being a slapper, you get on base with errors -- fielding it, throwing it -- so you do whatever it takes. That's a big portion of our roles as slappers.
On Michigan's balanced lineup ... "Everybody in our lineup is really clocked in and focused on what they need to do in their part. I think a lot of that has to do with what we've gone through this season with our mental game and one-pitch focus. Everybody has taken that in and really committed to it, and I think that's really shown in our lineup.
On being part of Michigan's senior leadership ... "Well, there's a lot of us -- six of us -- so it's hard not to have a presence out there. Having that leadership out there continually preaching what we need to do to be successful in every situation of the game, that keeps everyone on their toes. Underclassmen know that they have us to look up to; if they make a mistake, they look to us to help boost their confidence. That's something we've really emphasized -- making sure no one is getting down and we're all focusing on the team."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423