May 15, 2010
Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Bob Pearl Field)
Score: #2 Michigan 6, Iowa 0
Records: U-M (46-6, 18-1 Big Ten), Iowa (25-23, 10-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., May 21-23 -- at NCAA Regionals (Site TBD)
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team closed out the regular-season portion of its 2010 schedule in decisive fashion, cruising to a 6-0 shutout victory at Iowa on Saturday afternoon (May 15) at Bob Pearl Field. The Wolverines, who captured the Big Ten Conference title outright last night, wrapped up league play with a near-perfect 18-1 record.
Senior LHP Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) celebrated her 22nd birthday with a gem from the pitching circle, striking out seven Hawkeye batters while allowing one hit and a pair of walks en route to a complete-game shutout -- her sixth of the season. The win improved Nemitz's record to 20-3 on the season; she becomes the only pitcher in Wolverine program history to earn four straight 20-win seasons.
Nemitz also headlined the Wolverine offense, helping her cause with a 2-for-4 effort with two runs batted in. Senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, while sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) drove in two runs on a third-inning double.
The Wolverines loaded the bases in three innings, and after squandering their first opportunity in the opening frame, made good in similar scenarios in the third and seventh. Iowa starting pitcher Amanda Zust walked the bases full in the former frame. Findlay and senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) accepted back-to-back free passes with one down, and after both moved into scoring position on a subsequent wild pitch, junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) was issued her third intentional walk of the series to load the bases for Chidester. The Wolverine second baseman connected with the first pitch and smacked a one-hop, two-run double to the left-centerfield to provide her team the game's initial advantage.
Michigan added a run in the sixth off a double-steal attempt; senior pinch runner Kristin Larsen (Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) was thrown out on her way to second base, but the play allowed freshman pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota HS) to race home from third and slide in safely.
Following a similar script from yesterday's game, the Wolverines took advantage of Iowa mistakes in the seventh to explode for big runs late. Michigan loaded the bases on a leadoff double, fielder's choice and intentional walk before Shaw was struck by an inside pitch -- for the fourth time in the series -- to push in a run. With the bases still loaded in the next at-bat, Nemitz fell behind early in the count but connected with the 1-2 pitch and lifted it into shallow rightfield for a two-run single.
The Wolverine hurler went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning, forcing three straight groundouts on just eight pitches.
The NCAA Championship team selections and regional sites will be announced tomorrow (Sunday, May 16) at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPNU. Michigan has been in the NCAA field in each of the last 15 seasons, reaching the Women's College World Series nine times and winning the 2005 national championship.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423