May 27, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Softball Complex)
Event: NCAA Super Regional (Game One)
Score: #15 Tennessee 5, #2 Michigan 0
Records: U-M (49-7), Tennessee (46-13)
Next U-M Event: Friday, May 28 -- vs. Tennessee - NCAA Super Regional Game 2 (Wilpon Softball Complex), 4:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team was pushed one loss away from postseason elimination on Thursday evening (May 27), suffering a 5-0 loss to No. 15 Tennessee in front of 2,116 fans at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field. It was the Wolverines' first shutout loss of the season and snapped their 36-game home winning streak.
Tennessee hurler Ivy Renfroe claimed the pitchers' duel, fanning eight Wolverine batters while giving up just two hits -- both in the seventh inning -- and a pair of walks en route to her 29th win of the season. For her part, junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) struck out 10 and allowed four hits and a walk. The Volunteers' five runs were the second most allowed by Taylor this season; all but one were unearned.
Tennessee scored the entirety of its runs in the middle innings, pushing three across -- all unearned -- in the top of the third inning to go up for good. With two runners on base after a leadoff single and sacrifice fielder's choice, shortstop Ashley Andrews sent a bouncing grounder down the third baseline, where senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) misplayed the hop to allow the ball to skip into leftfield and the Tennessee base runner to race home from second. After back-to-back outs, centerfielder Kelly Grieve secured her team's second base hit of the frame, driving a two-run single into shallow centerfield.
The Volunteers added two more in the fifth, using two hits, an error and an illegal-pitch call to extend their lead to five runs. Grieve followed a leadoff walk and subsequent single with a base hit of her own, smacking an RBI single into leftfield. A fielding error allowed both base runners to move into scoring position, and the move proved costly for the Wolverines when Taylor was called for an illegal pitch -- one of three in the contest -- to score the runner from third base.
Michigan put runners on base in the second, third and fifth innings but did not break through with a hit until the seventh when junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) knocked a one-out single down the leftfield line. Sophomore Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) dropped a swinging bunt just feet in front of home plate in the next at-bat and beat out the ensuing throw to first to join her on base, but Renfroe retired the final two batters on just five pitches to close out the contest.
Michigan will host Tennessee again tomorrow afternoon (Friday, May 28) at 4:30 p.m. at the Wilpon Softball Complex. With a 1-0 series lead, a Volunteer victory would send the visiting team to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the first time since 2007, while a U-M win would force a third game that would begin shortly after the completion of game two.
N O T E S
• With its loss tonight, Michigan fell to 3-4 in the all-time series against Tennessee.
• The loss also halted Michigan's home winning streak at 36 consecutive games. U-M had not lost since the final day of the 2008 NCAA Super Regional, falling twice to Virginia Tech, 1-0, 6-0, on May 25, 2008.
• Michigan's last shutout loss came against Florida, 1-0, in its second game at the 2009 Women's College World Series.
• The Wolverines' two hits match a season low.
• Junior RHP Jordan Taylor struck out 10 Tennessee batters for her 11th double-digit strikeout performance of the season and third straight in NCAA Tournament play. The effort upped her season strikeout total to 310, which ranks fifth among Michigan's all-time single-season leaders in the category.
• Sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester extended her hit streak to three games; she has hit successfully in 10 of Michigan's last 11 games.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On tonight's game ... "I don't think I have to say a whole lot -- it was all Tennessee tonight. They attacked us, and they really put us on the defensive. I think [pitcher Ivy] Renfroe pitched outstanding, and we did not adjust. We did not shorten our swings. Our offensive was down and therefore our team went down. That's the last thing you want to happen. We are going to need to be in better battle mode come tomorrow."
On the amount of errors committed ... "When you're not in battle mode or playing one-pitch softball, errors can absolutely become contagious."
On whether she was surprised by the team's mental state ... "I felt we were ready to go. This team is very experienced, and they certainly know what's at stake. We knew we were going up against a good team, but when we fell behind and we didn't battle, which is unacceptable."
U-M Junior First Baseman Dorian Shaw
On the Wolverines' offensive struggles ... "I think more of our struggles had to do with us not being in the same mental state we've been in lately. We weren't attacking the pitches she was giving us. We were just on the defensive and we let her get ahead in the count and then tried climbing back. That's a hard position to be in; especially when the pitcher is throwing the kind of game they want. Like Hutch said, we didn't adjust well and we'd have been in a better position attacking her earlier in the count because she was putting pitches over the plate early in the at-bats. Those are the kind of pitches you have to go after, and you can't wait and expect that she'll serve them up to you again later. Not making adjustments and not being in the right mental state is what hurt us the most."
On not making adjustments at the plate ... "A lot of people were putting too much pressure on themselves -- expecting to do it all with one swing. You can't do it that way. You've got to rely on everybody to put base hits together, get base runners on board and do the kind of things that manufacture runs."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423