Michigan Staves Off Eastern Michigan in Non-Conference Finale
Amanda Chidester

May 3, 2011

Box Score | Highlights

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #2 Michigan 9, Eastern Michigan 7
Records: Michigan (45-4), Eastern Michigan (23-14)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, May 4 -- vs. Ohio State - doubleheader (Wilpon Complex), 5:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team persevered through a wild midweek slate against Washtenaw County rival Eastern Michigan, 9-7, on Tuesday evening (May 3) in front of 1,036 fans at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The victory caps the non-conference portion of the Wolverines' 2011 schedule.

Michigan tallied 10 hits and scored runs in four different innings, including a five-run second, to rally back from an initial 2-0 deficit. Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) and sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) headlined the productive Wolverine offense, both going 2-for-3 with home runs for a combined five runs batted in. Junior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) and senior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) also registered a pair of hits apiece; Evans extended her hitting streak to 17 straight games.

Junior LHP Hilary Payne (Plymouth, Mich./Canton HS) earned the victory in her second Michigan start, striking out two while allowing five runs -- four earned -- off seven hits and no walks to improve to 4-0 on the season. Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) pitched the final two innings to earn her first collegiate save, striking out two while giving up three hits and a walk.

After failing to convert with the bases loaded in the first inning, Michigan capitalized on a similar scenario with one out in the second when freshman leftfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) reached on an infield single and senior designated player Alycia Ryan (Morristown, N.J./Morristown HS) drove in the tying run on a subsequent fielder's choice. Chidester drove a deep ball into rightfield with three runners on and two outs in the next at-bat, and when EMU outfielder Kayla Kostich slipped in her attempt to cut toward it, she rounded the bases and scored easily for an inside-the-park three-run home run -- her 11th homer of the season.

The Wolverines extended their lead with a run in the third and two in the fourth. Evans drove in the former on a bases-loaded blooper to the middle of the infield, while Lane smashed a line-drive two-run homer -- her team-leading 15th long ball of the season -- into the rightfield grandstand in the latter frame.

After Eastern Michigan cut the gap with a home run of its own -- a three-run bomb in the fifth from second baseman Nellie Coquillard -- freshman catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield HS) capped Michigan's run output in the sixth, following a Chidester walk and a Lane line-drive double with a deep sacrifice fly to rightfield.

Eastern Michigan garnered its early advantage with a run apiece in the first and second innings, scoring on a bloop single to leftfield and a subsequent bouncing RBI single through the right-side gap. The Eagles narrowed the final margin with two more runs in the top of the seventh. First baseman Lauren Delapaz led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on third baseman Jessica Richard's double to leftfield. Richard also advanced on a wild pitch before coming home herself on a sacrifice foul out along the leftfield line.

The Wolverines return to action tomorrow (Wednesday, May 4), hosting a Big Ten Conference doubleheader against rival Ohio State at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. Both games will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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