April 10, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex)
Scores: #4 Michigan 10, Purdue 0 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (35-3, 5-1 Big Ten), Purdue (24-10-1, 2-2 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 12 -- vs. Western Michigan (Wilpon Softball Complex), 6 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Following a similar script as yesterday's explosive win, the No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team recorded a pair of home runs and scored in every frame en route to a 10-1, five-inning decision over Purdue on Sunday afternoon (April 10) in front of 1,361 fans at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.
Sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) headlined the Wolverines' offensive effort, going 2-for-3 with four runs batted in, including a three-run bomb in the fourth inning -- her second home run of the weekend and team-leading 13th of the season. Senior designated player Alycia Ryan (Morristown, N.J./Morristown HS) also went yard for Michigan, while freshman leftfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) drove in two runs in a 1-for-2 effort.
Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) earned the victory from the circle, improving to 16-0 on the year, with a one-hit, three-strikeout performance through 3.1 innings.
For the second time in the weekend series, the Wolverines used their first turn at the plate to jump to an early advantage. Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) earned her first RBI hit in seven games to break U-M through on the scoreboard, following Sappingfield's walk with a screaming double down the leftfield line to score her teammate from first base. Shaw advanced to third when the next pitch was deemed illegal, and two batters later, Lane took advantage of the extra base, lining an RBI single through the left side.
Sappingfield registered her RBI with one out and runners on the corners in the second, slapping a two-run double down the leftfield line to cushion Michigan's advantage. Two batters, junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) knocked a hard-hit grounder to the same area, and when the Boilermaker misplayed the backhanded attempt, Sappingfield raced home to score.
Ryan kept the Wolverines' offensive production going in the third, capping an extended at-bat with a solo bomb to the baseball field beyond the left centerfield wall. The home run was Ryan's third of the season and first in front of a home crowd at Alumni Field.
The Boilermakers threatened in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with one out after three walks. Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) entered the game and issued back-to-back strikeouts on just six pitches to quickly remove Michigan from the jam.
Michigan recorded four runs in the home half of the inning to push its lead into run-rule territory. Shaw and Chidester recorded consecutive bullet base hits; the latter was rocket single through the left side that scored junior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) from third. With two on base for Lane in the next at-bat, the Wolverine power hitter connected with the 1-1 pitch and sailed it deep to left center, just sneaking it over the wall for her second home run of the weekend.
Purdue put two on in the top of the fifth after a leadoff single and a misplayed grounder, but U-M got out of the jam quickly, needing just seven pitches to get its final three outs on a fielder's choice, a failed steal attempt and a groundout.
The Wolverines will host a pair of midweek games, returning to action against intrastate rival Western Michigan on Tuesday (April 12). The game is slated for a 6 p.m. start at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.
N O T E S
With today's win, Michigan improved to 36-2 in the all-time series against Purdue and has won 10 in a row against the Boilermakers.
The Wolverines tallied double-digit runs in back-to-back games for the second time this season and first time since their first two contest of the season. U-M has recorded double-digit runs nine times this season and owns 11 run-rule decisions.
Michigan's shutout win was its 11th of the season. Senior RHP Jordan Taylor has contributed to nine of U-M's shutouts with nine complete-game efforts and two shared.
Sophomore Ashley Lane knocked out her 13th home run of the season to push U-M into run-rule range and earn a share of the eighth spot among Michigan's all-time single-season home run leaders. The Wolverines' record in the category is 21, recorded four times by three different players, most recently by Dorian Shaw last season.
Lane leads the Wolverines with 14 multi-RBI games this season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On whether retaking first place in the Big Ten creates confidence ... "First place only matters at the end of the season; until then it's just a bunch of garbage. Purdue is a good team. We certainly didn't help their confidence, but like I always tell the kids, 'Never get too high and never get too low.' The season is a journey -- and it's a long journey -- and you have to stay even keeled. If you get too high on yourself, somebody is going to bust your bubble. I think we'll do a nice job of keeping within ourselves and keep working. We're working towards May."
On coming out equally explosive after yesterday's lopsided win ... "We talk about putting everything behind you, because yesterday doesn't have anything to do with today. We played Purdue in 2006 and beat them 15-0 -- just killed them -- and the next day we lost. Every day is different, so we work really hard to stay even keeled."
U-M Junior Amanda Chidester
On driving in several runs this weekend ... "All year, I've hit behind one of the best hitters in the country. I know she's going to be getting walks constantly, because she's so well respected. In the beginning of the year, I struggled a little bit with that. It was something that I had to get better and better at and just relax and have fun like any other at bat."
On the Wolverines' hitting surge ... "It does a lot for our confidence, especially since we haven't been hitting very well lately. We just came out and hit the stuffing out of the ball. It was really good for us. But we've just got to keep it up. We've got to keep hitting well in practice and bring it into the game. We just need to take the same approach every game -- see the ball, hit the ball and have fun. It's all about energy; when we have good energy on the field and in the dugout, it carries out to our hitting. It's all about energy and confidence and going out the same way every time."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423