April 14, 2010
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On giving freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman the start ... "She needed to get a start, and I felt like this was a good opportunity to get her one. Central is a good team, in fact they are one of the best teams we've played in the last couple weeks. I wanted to put us in a position where we'd have a good game, and you've got to test her at some point. I knew if she struggled or we fell behind early that our team could pick her up, and I wanted to see what she'd do in a meaningful game rather than in a mop up situation where the team is ahead. It's a whole different scenario. I was really pleased with her effort. She was composed. She made her pitches. She did a really nice job."
On being nervous in the early innings ... "I would have chosen for the game to go just like it did. Our team is really competitive, we're explosive, and it's hard to keep us down. So, it's nice to be in a game like that. I wanted to see us in a situation where we needed to make adjustments at the plate, and a few girls did that late in the game. I wasn't nervous at any point though, it's a game -- play it."
On the multiple recent run-rule games ... "I'm opposed to the run rule. I'm one of the advocates to have it removed or changed to a 15-run limit. In what other sport do you stop playing because you're ahead? Eight runs isn't out of reach. You lose the opportunity to give some younger kids playing time. I don't think it's good for softball, and I don't think it's good for the season-ticket holders that have to rush out to the field before the game is stopped. It's a rule that was put in place in the 1970s when I played when the average pitcher had a 0.2 ERA and games were being won 1-0. Back then if a team got up by eight runs then there was no way there would be a comeback. That's not the case anymore."
On the play of Dorian Shaw ... "I am very proud of her because she has really spent a lot of time and effort on her mental approach to the game and her consistency. I've been very impressed as her hard work has been paying off this year. One of the things you learn when you come play at a big-time program is how much work you have truly have to put in to be successful, and that's something that she has learned and been working on this year and it's paying off."
On the team's offensive production ... "When you have a good hitting lineup and a player like Stephanie Kirkpatrick hitting over .300 in the eight-hole, there isn't as much pressure on each player to get a hit. Knowing that your teammates can come through with a hit if you don't takes a lot of pressure off of you as a hitter. The bottom line is that if you don't get it done out there, someone else will."
U-M Freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman
On getting the start ... "I was very excited -- a little nervous -- but I was told ahead of time, which gave me time to prepare. I sort of settled in after the first inning, especially knowing that I had the defense behind me it made my job a lot easier. It means a lot that they had enough confidence in me to give the ball."
U-M Senior Shortstop Molly Bausher
On filling in at shortstop ... "It seems like every year we have someone go down with an injury, and every year someone has to step up and fill in -- that person always seems to be me. It's tough to deal with it, but given the previous experience we've with these types of situations, it's given the team more of an understanding of how to deal with it. Kristen [Larsen] is a great outfielder and now is her time to step up and do her part to help the team. I think she's doing a great job. She's not going to hold anything back."
On the bottom of the order producing ... "A lot of the time teams look at the bottom of the order as a place where they can get a couple outs, but we try our best to keep that from happening. Hutch really emphasizes the importance of the bottom of the lineup for the team's success. Nikki [Nemitz] has been putting up great numbers in the seven-hole. I haven't been producing all that much in the past few games, but today I came up with the walk-off hit. That's what has made our team so successful so far this year -- having every hitter in the lineup contribute towards the team's success."