April 8, 2010
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (IU Softball Complex)
Scores: #2 Michigan 8, Indiana 2; #2 Michigan 14, Indiana 1 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (28-5, 5-0 Big Ten), Indiana (7-23, 0-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 10 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 1 p.m. CDT
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team extended its winning streak to seven consecutive games, including five straight in Big Ten Conference play, with a dominant 8-2, 14-1 doubleheader sweep at Indiana on Thursday afternoon (April 8) at the IU Softball Complex.
The Wolverines recorded double-digit hits in both contests, nearing their season best with 13 base knocks in the nightcap. Senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) headlined the U-M offense, going 5-for-7 on the afternoon with a home run and three runs batted in. Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) belted out a pair of long balls in a 4-for-5, six-RBI effort. Sophomore outfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) went 4-for-8, tallying three hits and five RBI in game two.
The Wolverine pitching staff was solid in both games. Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) earned the complete-game performance in game one, improving to 15-2 on the season with a seven-strikeout, five-hit effort. Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) secured the game-two decision, allowing four hits and no walks in a three-strikeout performance through four innings to improve to 12-3. Freshman RHP pitcher Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) tossed a perfect frame in relief, striking out one in a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
Michigan scored runs in each of the first four innings, including eight in the fourth, en route to the five-inning decision in game two. The Wolverines scored the only runs they needed in the first, manufacturing two on run-scoring singles from St. Clair and junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS). St. Clair rifled a screamer down the leftfield line that just hopped over the bag and stayed in fair territory, while Shaw sent an uncharacteristic blooper into shallow leftfield.
After Indiana used back-to-back bunt base hits and a run-scoring single through the right side to manufacture a run in the home half, the Wolverines responded with three runs in the second. IU shortstop erred on back-to-back grounders to open the frame. Evans then drove in both U-M base runners on a slap blooper to shallow leftfield. Evans came home herself when Viefhaus sent a sacrifice fly to shallow left.
Bausher earned a sacrifice fly of her own in the third inning before the Wolverines exploded for five hits and eight runs to put the game away in the fourth. Extra-base hits accounted for the bulk of the offensive surge. Evans smacked a bases-clearing double to the fence in left centerfield, while, just two batters later, Viefhaus lifted a two-run shot over the left centerfield.
Michigan's middle lineup used the long ball to secure all of its runs in the opening contest. St. Clair provided her team the initial lead with a two-run shot in the top of the opening frame. Senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) was aboard after accepting a five-pitch walk -- one of six for the Wolverines in the slate -- when St. Clair connected with the 1-0 pitch hung out over the plate and lined into deep centerfield, sneaking it just over the fence for her fifth homer of the season.
The Wolverines' home run leaders -- Shaw and Viefhaus -- went against the wind to tally homers in the third and fourth innings to wrap up Michigan's scoring with a pair of three-run bombs. With Viefhaus and St. Clair occupying bases after a first-pitch low liner up the middle and a subsequent rope through the left side, Shaw connected with the 2-2 pitch and drove it high into the wind, dropping it just beyond the leftfield fence for her 12th blast of the season.
Viefhaus' fourth-inning homer mirrored the previous effort as the Wolverine third baseman hung up a towering shot in the wind, providing just enough power to deposit it beyond the left centerfield fence. Bausher sent a first-pitch blooper into shallow centerfield to lead off the frame before Findlay joined her on base after taking an inside pitch off the leg.
Indiana scored in the fifth to erase the Wolverines' run-rule margin and added another run in the seventh as Taylor faded slightly down the stretch but earned the triumph.
The Wolverines will have a quick turnaround before their next Big Ten matchup, heading to Minneapolis, Minn., for a two-game series against Minnesota on Saturday and Sunday (April 10-11). Both games are slated for a 1 p.m. CDT start at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423