Notes and Quotes: #2 Michigan 8, Penn State 0 (5 inn.); #2 Michigan 8, Penn State 0 (5 inn.)
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MGOBLUE

April 21, 2010

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N O T E S

• With today's doubleheader sweep, the Wolverines improved to 34-7 in all-time series against Penn State. Michigan has won seven consecutive games against PSU.

• Michigan's game-two win against Penn State was the 1,300th in program history. U-M owns an all-time record of 1,300-501-4.

• Michigan has earned shutouts in its last three games and six of its last seven. The Wolverines boast 17 shutouts on the season, already surpassing its 2009 total (16). Michigan's single-season record in the category is 32, established during its 2005 NCAA championship season.

• Michigan extended its winning streak to a season-best 14 games. The Wolverines have won 27 of their last 28 games.

• The Wolverines have earned run-rule decision in seven of their last eight games.

• Junior RHP Jordan Taylor is the only Michigan pitcher to register multiple perfect games in her career. She also took sole possession of U-M's career no-hitters record with six. Two-time All-American Jennie Ritter (2003-06) previously held the record of five.

• Senior catcher Roya St. Clair's solo home run in the third inning of the first game capped her hitting streak to a career-best eight games. She went 0-X in the nightcap. She hit .500 (12-for-24) over the stretch

• Senior Maggie Viefhaus' three-run homer in the first game upped her season RBI tally to 39, matching her career high in the category. Viefhaus also registered 39 RBI last season.

• Four Wolverines are hitting .400 or better in Big Ten Conference play this season. Viefhaus leads the conference with a .667 average, while senior LHP Nikki Nemitz is hitting .600 in Big Ten games.

• Sophomore outfielder Bree Evans boasts 18 multi-hit games this season, adding a 2-for-3 effort in today's first game.

Q U O T E S

Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On junior RHP Jordan Taylor... "She's been focused all year. She's really bought into the one-pitch focus, and I think she's learned how to stay focused on one pitch at a time. I think she's having more fun and allowing herself to have fun. She doesn't expect to be perfect. Sometimes pitchers try to make everything perfect then they get outside themselves when things don't go perfectly. To me, what I think is so key about perfect games is no walks; base runners are a problem. She's working hard."

On senior catcher Roya St. Clair... "Roya is such a good receiver. Jordan's dirtiest pitch is her changeup, which is often in the dirt. That's a great place to put it, but you have to have a catcher that can handle it. When you have so much confidence that your catcher is going to handle the ball, you don't have to worry about that ball getting by her. You can throw with confidence. That's true of all of her pitches. Roya has a good relationship with her and communicates well with her."

On Michigan's home run hitters... "I compare the home run in softball to the three-point shot in basketball. You've got to have some three-point shooters. I just think we're swinging with a lot of confidence, our pitch selection is great, and our veterans are just oozing with confidence. You see a team with confidence and one without, and they are night and day. This team is very confident."

On Michigan's success with two outs... "We had five runs with two outs in that first inning of the second game. That's pretty amazing. We're a pretty explosive offense. You get a base runner on, and we're dangerous. The key is getting on base."

Michigan Assistant Coach Jennifer Brundage
On junior RHP Jordan Taylor's perfect performance... "She really had control of all her pitches. Her curve was a little off early in the game, but she made some adjustments and got that working late in the game. Her changeup was on, her rise ball was on and her screw ball -- they were all there. In addition to that, she was just mentally sharp, playing one-pitch softball.

On Taylor's progress over the season and over her career... " Our goal as coaches is for our players to continually improve as the season goes on, and she has done that. I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg to what she's capable of. It's fun to watch, and it's fun to be a part of. I hope she continues to stay in her moment and keep playing one-pitch softball. You can't really focus on that outcome -- the perfect game -- because you can't have total control that. What I like to see is she's controlling herself, her presence on the mound and her emotions. That's what we continue to look for as coaches. I try not to get too caught up in the perfect games. I've seen our pitchers be locked in like she is. Nikki [Nemitz] was there last year, and a couple years ago, we had Jennie Ritter in the championship run of 2005. It's just taking themselves to a new level in terms of their mental toughness. That's the main difference between Jordan's game this year and her game last year -- her mental toughness. She's not always going to be as sharp as she has been, but her mental game is what's going to pull her through."

On freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman... "One of the qualities I really like about Stephanie is her work ethic, and she has worked and worked since she came here in the fall. She continues to work hard in practice every day even though she doesn't get the payoff of getting immediate playing time. She has made herself into a pitcher that's capable of playing at this level and competing, and that's really exciting to see for the future of Michigan softball."

On Michigan's three-member pitching staff... "All three are very different, but the quality that they have in common is their competiveness. That's something that they all have. They like to compete, and they like to be out there when the pressure's on. When you do have a pitcher throw an outstanding game, the competitive nature of the next pitcher -- they want to match it. How do you match a perfect game? The only way is to throw a perfect game of your own. When it goes out the window in the first inning, I really credit Nikki's ability to rebound from that and throw a great game of her own. We're always trying to measure ourselves by our own individual standards, not by what somebody else has done. That's where Nikki has done a nice job this year; she's working on her own game and getting herself better every game. If you look at Nikki's games over the last month, she's gotten a lot better as well."

U-M Junior RHP Jordan Taylor
On whether she thinks about perfect games... "I don't think about when I'm pitching, but you set goals for yourself before games. When I'm pitching, it never crosses my mind. You can jinx yourself so fast; it's just one of those things you can't talk about. I had a bit of a realization in the top of the fifth and thought back on whether I had walked anybody. But I didn't know for sure."

On freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman... "She has a lot of talent, and I think next year she'll definitely be able to step up to the next level. She's such a hard worker, and she's been looking good."

   

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