May 22, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Event: NCAA Regional
Scores: #24 Kentucky 2, #2 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (53-6), Kentucky (39-14)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-seeded University of Michigan softball team could not hang onto its 1-0 seventh-inning advantage, falling, 2-1, to Kentucky on a pair of runs in the bottom half in the NCAA Regional championship game on Sunday afternoon (May 22) in front of 2,036 fans at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. With their win, the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Super Regional for the first time in program history.
U-M scored in the fourth and maintained its narrow lead through three innings, but Kentucky evened the score quickly in the bottom of the seventh frame as catcher Meagan Aull connected with the fifth pitch of the inning and drove it high and deep down the rightfield line for her 10th home run of the season. The Wildcats loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter and, after strikeout provided the first out, leftfielder Annie Rowlands blooped a first-pitch single over first base down the line to plate the winning run.
The Wolverines managed just one hit in the contest -- with several spectacular Kentucky defensive plays -- and four walks. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido HS) recorded the lone U-M hit in the sixth with a single up the middle.
Michigan took advantage of two walks and a Wildcat fielding error to push across its run in the fourth. With two runners on, including sophomore pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota HS) occupying second, freshman catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield HS) sent a dribbling grounder to shortstop. The Wildcat fielder misplayed the hop, and the ball kicked into the outfield, allowing Crummey to round third base and score.
Senior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) was solid from the pitching circle, striking out 11 Wildcats batters -- three in the second and two apiece in the third and fifth -- while allowing five hits and three walks. Blanchard also threw out two runners at second base on attempted steals.
N O T E S
With today's loss, Michigan fell to 2-2 in the all-time series against Kentucky.
Michigan did not advance through the NCAA Regional for the first time since 2003. It was the first time U-M did not make the NCAA Super Regional since its inception in 2005.
The Wolverines' one hit was a season low. The last time Michigan only tallied one hit was against Florida in the 2009 Women's College World Series.
Senior RHP Jordan Taylor struck out 11 for her 14th double-digit strikeout effort of the season.
Taylor leaves Michigan with eight program career records -- appearances (162), starts (124), innings pitched (853.2), wins (107), winning percentage (.863), strikeouts (1,220), saves (17) and no-hitters (8). She also ranks second with 42 shutouts.
Senior first baseman Dorian Shaw leaves Michigan with the school's career walks record (178), ranks second in career home runs (58) and slugging percentage (.663) and third in career runs batted in (178).
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On Michigan's offense ... "I always want more base runners. That was the game plan today. We needed base runners, and we didn't get enough."
On senior RHP Jordan Taylor's demeanor after Kentucky's home run ... "She wasn't happy, and I'm sure she was a little shook up. She just got a little tentative and pitched a little careful. But Jordan didn't let us down. Jordan was outstanding. She pitched her heart out all weekend. Our offense let us down. One run against Kentucky isn't going to be good enough, and if it would have worked, it would have been a heck of an effort. We didn't hit well, and we didn't have good pitch selection. Our offense let us down."
On the Wolverine senior class ... "It's always hard. They've been outstanding."
U-M Junior Third Baseman Amanda Chidester
On the Wolverines' mindset during the seventh ... "Just going out and fighting. That's what we'd been doing the whole game -- just trying to fight and get things going. We hit the ball, but they made a lot of great plays out there. Everyone came ready to play. We had some great plays; Caitlin [Blanchard] did a great job behind the plate. It was going to come down to the end."
On U-M's attitude after the Kentucky home run ... "We kept saying, 'Let's just keep going through this.' We walked the next two batters, but I still felt we were going to get through it. I wasn't going to believe it until they scored that run that we weren't going to get more at-bats. I believed Jordan [Taylor] was going to get through it, we were going to make some plays -- I thought a double play was going to come -- but she found a little hole."
U-M Sophomore Second Baseman Ashley Lane
On her hit ... "What we were working on this entire game and entire year was just putting the ball in play and putting in on the ground. That specific at-bat -- I had been popping up a lot -- so, I just wanted to put in on the ground. Getting base runners is the most important thing that we can do in this game. We had a lot of great cuts this game and mine happened to go through."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423