April 9, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex)
Scores: #4 Michigan 13, Purdue 1 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (34-3, 4-1 Big Ten), Purdue (24-9-1, 2-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 10 -- vs. Purdue (Wilpon Softball Complex), 2 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team recorded 11 hits, including four home runs, en route to a 13-1, five-inning rout against Purdue on Saturday afternoon (April 9) in front of 1,468 fans at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field. The win moved the Wolverines back to the top of the Big Ten Conference standings.
Michigan's 11 hits mark just its third double-digit hit performance in 15 games, while its four home runs match a season high. Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) headlined the offensive effort, going 2-for-2 from the plate with two home runs and a career-best seven runs batted in. The Wolverines also earned long balls from sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) and sophomore shortstop Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore HS), who tallied solo shots in the third and fourth innings, respectively.
After a rocky start, senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) settled in to improve to 18-3 on the season, striking out eight while allowing four hits -- three in the first frame -- and no walks.
The Boilermakers got off to a fast start, driving in the initial run with three straight hits to lead off the contest, including shortstop Molly Garst's leadoff triple and a subsequent first-pitch RBI single from rightfielder Andie Varsho. With Purdue still threatening with runners on the corners, the Wolverines earned a double play on a popped-up bunt, before Taylor worked back from a 3-0 count to issue an inning-ending strikeout.
Michigan's response came immediately in the home half of the frame as the Wolverines pushed across six runs to steal away the lead for good and set up a stretch of three consecutive multi-run innings. Back-to-back first-pitch singles up the middle and a full-count walk quickly loaded the bases for Chidester, who took a pitch before connecting with the second, lining it deep into the centerfield bleachers for her second grand slam in five games. U-M reached on a single and an error to keep the momentum going, before freshman rightfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Mich./Minooka Community HS) sailed a deep ball into the right centerfield gap, sending in two runs while sliding in safely for her second career triple.
Purdue ace Suzie Rzegocki struck back-to-back Wolverine batters with one down in the second and after both runners advanced on a groundout, freshman catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield HS) made her pay for the errant pitches with a two-run bloop single to shallow centerfield.
The Wolverines returned to the long ball in the third as Chidester followed a leadoff single and subsequent walk with her second bomb of the game, drilling the 1-1 pitch into the Purdue bullpen beyond the leftfield wall. Lane connected with the game's next pitch and drove it the opposite direction, clanging it into the outfield grandstand in rightfield for her team-leading 12th homer of the season.
Knapp's solo home run in the fourth inning wrapped up scoring in the contest. The Wolverine shortstop smacked a line-drive homer over the rightfield wall for her third of the season.
With the run-rule cushion firmly in place, Taylor issued back-to-back strikeouts to open the top of the fifth and after giving up a two-strike single, forced an easy groundout to first base to secure the final out.
Michigan will wrap up its two-game series against Purdue tomorrow (Sunday, April 10), squaring off at 2 p.m. at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423
N O T E S
With today's win, Michigan improved to 35-2 in the all-time series against Purdue. The Wolverines have won the last nine meetings in the series, dating back to 2007.
The Wolverines have recorded double-digit runs eight times this season, while their 13 runs represented their third-greatest run output of the year -- and most since the season's opening weekend.
Junior Amanda Chidester's two home runs mark her first collegiate multi-homer effort. She boasts eight homers on the season and 25 in her career, earning her a share of the seventh spot among Michigan's all-time leading home run leaders. She's tied with Angela Findlay (2007-10) and needs just three more to reach the sixth spot, currently held by Melissa Gentile (28, 1997-2000).
Chidester's grand slam was her second in five games this season and the fourth of her career. She has accounted for Michigan's game-winning run with her last three grand slams.
Chidester also registered a career-best seven runs batted in against the Boilermakers. Her previous high was four RBI in a single game, which she recorded six times, most recently at Northwestern.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On Michigan's big-hitting game ... "I love to see us break out. I thought we had a lot of just great cuts; whether we hit it or miss it, I just want good cuts. I think they were aggressive and more than anything, hitting is contagious. You get a couple kids whacking it, it's easier for everyone else to whack it. But, as I told the kids, the runs don't count for tomorrow, so we just need to stay in the process and continue to take good cuts. It'll be interesting to see how Purdue adjusts to us."
I do think there's something for settling in to being at home; it's a different routine. I think getting behind was good for us offensively, because we, right away, had to battle, and they did that. We just have to continue to get better every day. We don't have to best our performance today. We just have to come out and play good softball."
On bouncing back from a slow top-of-first start ... "I really like the way Jordan [Taylor] responded to it. She came back out and really got into a better rhythm and mixed up her pitches better. She did a great job coming back and settling in. She had great poise and great command. The hitters did come out after her, and jumping on them certainly sent a message that this is our house."
On the Michigan hitting lineup ... "Bree [Evans] has been very consistent for us, and so has [Amanda] Chidester. No question we rely on our upperclassmen. Everyone else will sometimes come and sometimes go, but we just need some consistency throughout the lineup. The same people aren't always going to get it done; the key is that somebody gets it done. It seemed like today, anybody could get it done. Obviously, we think all of our kids are pretty capable. The hardest thing sometimes is just not to try too hard. It seemed easier today, because scoring that big four [off Chidester's grand slam] made it easier for everyone else to relax and just play.