No. 2 Michigan gets by E. Michigan
Center fielder Evans extends 17-game hitting streak in 9-7 win
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- No. 2-ranked Michigan survived against Washtenaw County rival Eastern Michigan 9-7, on Tuesday 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 and sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane headlined the productive Wolverine offense, both going 2-for-3 with home runs for a combined five runs batted in. Junior center fielder Bree Evans and senior first baseman Dorian Shaw also registered a pair of hits apiece; Evans extended her hitting streak to 17 consecutive games.
Junior LHP Hilary Payne 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 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 reached on an infield single and senior designated player Alycia Ryan drove in the tying run on a subsequent fielder's choice. Chidester drove a deep ball into right field 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 right-field 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 capped Michigan's run output in the sixth, following a Chidester walk and a Lane line-drive double with a deep sacrifice fly to right field.
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.