April 3, 2010

Courtesy of Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -
The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored 14 runs in the first two innings en route to a dominant 15-0, five-inning victory over Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon (April 3) in front of 1,623 fans at the Wilpon Softball Complex, home of Alumni Field.

The Wolverines emptied their bench in the contest as eight different players tallied at least one hit, including four with multi-hit efforts, and U-M's total of 12 hits marked its third consecutive double-digit hit performance and fifth in seven games. Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) and senior centerfielder Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev./Spring Valley HS) registered three runs batted in apiece, Viefhaus on a three-run homer and Bausher on a bases-loaded double in the second inning.

Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) earned the victory, improving to 14-2 on the season. She walked the leadoff hitter but allowed no hits and struck out six through the opening three innings. Freshman RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) entered in the fourth and fanned four Badgers to combine for Michigan's 10th shutout of the season. Wisconsin spoiled the no-hit bid with two out in the fifth.

Michigan send nine batters to the plate in the home half of the first and scored four runs on four hits, a walk and a couple errant Badger pitches. Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) led off with a slap hit up the middle and, after advancing on a groundout and wild pitch, scored when Wisconsin catcher Maggie Strange let a low pitch get behind her. Junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) and sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) drove in runs in the next two at-bats, as Shaw roped a high liner to the rightfield wall and Chidester clanged a two-run homer off the light pole in leftfield to earn her fifth long ball of the season.

The Wolverines continued to pile up big hits in the second, using seven base knocks -- three for extra bases -- to score a season-high 10 runs in the frame. Michigan loaded the bases three times in the inning, driving in runs in each instance. Senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) initiated the scoring with a sacrifice fly to rightfield before senior designated player Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) made the Badgers pay for a Chidester intentional walk -- and subsequent pitching change -- with a bouncing grounder through the right side.

Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) followed with a low liner through the left side to reload the bases for Bausher, who lined a hit over the Badger shortstop's head and to the fence in left-centerfield to send the trio of U-M baserunners home. After Bausher stole third and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) accepted a five-pitch walk to put runners on the corners, Viefhaus connected with the 1-0 pitch and drove it deep down the leftfield line, just inside the foul pole. The three-run blast was Viefhaus' ninth of the season and third in two Big Ten games.

Kirkpatrick capped Michigan's scoring in the third, banging a triple -- the first of her career -- off the rightfield wall to score Chidester from second base.

Wisconsin's lone hit came with two down in the fifth as designated player Letty Olivarez blooped a single into shallow rightfield. Speierman responded by striking out the final Badger batter on four pitches.

The Wolverines will wrap up their four-game homestand tomorrow (April 4) with a 2 p.m. Easter Sunday meeting against Wisconsin at the Wilpon Softball Complex.