June 2, 2005
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The No. 1-ranked University of Michigan softball team advanced to the second round of the Women's College World Series with a 3-0 shutout victory over unseeded DePaul on Thursday (June 2). A night after celebrating her 21st birthday, junior pitcher Jennie Ritter (Dexter, Mich./Dexter HS) ignited Michigan to its first win in the WCWS since 1998. Ritter earned the shutout, fanning 12 batters and allowing just five baserunners.
The Wolverines wasted no time getting on the board. The proverbial two-out team jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead thanks to an offensive jumpstart from the bat of designated player Nicole Motycka (Sarasota, Fla./Cardinal Mooney HS). Motycka blooped a single to short rightfield that squirted past DePaul rightfielder Dana Kenny, pushing centerfielder Alessandra Giampaolo (Pasadena, Calif./Polytechnic HS) and shortstop Jessica Merchant (Wayland, Mich./Wayland HS) across the dish.
Ritter worked her way out of the only jam she would face in the top of the third. With runners at the corners and one down, Ritter got a grounder from Kenney, which she tossed to Becky Marx (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore HS) to tag the runner at the plate. The next batter delivered an infield single before Ritter punched out Sandy Vojik to end the bases-loaded rally.
Following the stifled rally, Ritter shut down the Blue Demons, striking out the side in the fourth and setting down the side in order in the fifth. Ritter did not allow a hit past the third inning as she cruised to her 34th win of the season.
Michigan's offense continued to roll in the fourth, chasing DePaul starter Tracie Adix after Rebekah Milian (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) and Marx reached base. Pinch runner Michelle Weatherdon (Marquette, Mich./Senior HS), who moved to third on a wild pitch from Blue Demon reliever Megan Huitnik, crossed the plate on a Tiffany Haas (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill HS) sacrifice fly to extend to Wolverines' lead to 3-0.
That would be all the Michigan offense could squeeze out of Huitnik, who held the Wolverines to a single hit in the final two innings.
Michigan (61-5) will take on No. 4 seed Texas, a 3-0 winner over No. 12 seed Alabama, in Game 6 of the WCWS tomorrow (June 3) at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. First pitch is scheduled for 9 p.m. CDT, and the game will be televised live on ESPN2.
Contact: Rich Marion (734) 763-4423