May 28, 2009

May 28-June 3, 2009
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.


Game 3: Michigan 6, Alabama 1

  • Michigan improved to 47-10 (16-14 all-time at the WCWS) with a 6-1 win over Alabama (52-10).

  • Alabama's five-run loss was its worst in WCWS play. Prior to tonight's loss, the Crimson Tide's largest margin of defeat at the WCWS was four runs (4-0 vs. Tennessee in 2005; 5-1 vs. Arizona in 2008).

  • The Wolverines jumped to 5-3 in the all-time series against Alabama, including a 2-0 mark in postseason play. Michigan won the first three games in the series before dropping three of the next four with its only victory coming in a 3-2 win at the 2001 NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor on May 19, 2001.

  • Alabama's three hits tied a season low (also had three hits against Georgia on April 5).

  • Alabama's Kelsi Dunne allowed her first hit in 13.1 innings by giving up a single to left field to Michigan freshman second baseman Steph Kirkpatrick in the top of the second. Dunne entered the contest off the heels of back-to-back no hitters against Jacksonville State in the NCAA Super Regional last weekend.

  • Dunne's eight hits allowed tied as the second most by the sophomore pitcher this year and most since allowing 12 hits against Florida on March 28.

  • Kirkpatrick's single was followed by a full-count walk to Teddi Ewing, which allowed Nikki Nemitz to score from third. It was Dunne's first earned run allowed since a first-inning RBI single by Texas' Alexis Bennett on May 16 (16 innings).

  • Michigan's Amanda Chidester blasted her eighth home run of the season with a solo shot in the top of the third. It was her second homer of the 2009 postseason and 38th RBI of the year (a share of the team lead).

  • UM's Teddi Ewing went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base in the victory. It was Ewing's first three-hit game of the season and third of her career.

  • The Crimson Tide allowed runs in consecutive innings (single runs in the second, third and fourth frames) for the first time since March 28 (a string of 29 games) when Florida scored a single run in the first and second innings and eight runs in the third frame in a 10-1 final.

  • The Crimson Tide dropped to 0-6 in WCWS openers and to 4-11 all-time at the WCWS.

  • Alabama had outscored its opponents 47-4 in its five previous postseason games this year.


Opening comment:
"I told the kids sometimes the hardest game is the first game. I am very impressed with, more than any other aspect of our game, our composure as a group. This is everybody in this program's first time here. I thought we were very composed and I thought Nikki (Nemitz) commanded the game and gave us great confidence. We were able to capitalize on some good at bats, and drew some great walks and the bottom of the order got it done for us today."

On where the composure and poise came from:
"We have been playing at a very high level all season and we have had a very tough schedule. Once we rolled into the Big Ten season we just kept competing at the same level and we only focused on us so it doesn't matter who the opponent is. I think our kids believe they are just as deserving to be here as Alabama or Florida or anybody else. They have a lot of confidence in themselves and they have been doing this all year. We have been playing this kind of competition all year."

On Stephanie Kirkpatrick breaking out of slump:
"There was a saying back in 2005 that when the bottom of the order comes through, that's when championships are won. Everyone takes credit for getting it done and we have yet to have everyone in the lineup be hot at the same time. It was her turn tonight and she made a lot of great things happen and hopefully it will give her confidence the rest of the tournament."

On home run:
"She was throwing me up and in like she was to everyone else and it was a great pitch. I was just looking at the low pitch like Coach was telling us. I had seen her changeup the at bat before that and I knew if I could wait on a changeup I would be able to hit it."

On getting three runs in the sixth inning:
"We came in knowing (Kelsi Dunne) was a great pitcher and she was going play her game. We just wanted to go in there and play one-pitch softball and getting three runs was huge. Nikki (Nemitz) was throwing a great game out there and we felt confident on defense. We just stuck to our game plan and made things work for us. She is a great pitcher so getting three runs on her gave us a little bit more confidence in the box."

On her first experience at the WCWS:
"It's all of our dreams come true. We love being here and the coaches made us believe that we deserve to be here. Going out there and playing college softball just means a lot to us. To walk on this field where so many great players have walked, where so many great coaches have walked, it is really an honor to be here and a humbling experience. Our team is just thrilled to have the chance to go out there and compete and play some softball."

On her pitching performance:
"I thought Biggie (pitching coach Jennifer Brundage) called a great game. Most of my pitches were working pretty well and we kept throwing both corners, off-speed and up. It just kept them guessing and Biggie called a great game to mix in there every once in a while with the changeup. They just never knew what corner it was going in and I didn't either. That is just the best way to do it."


Opening comment:
"Congratulations to Michigan. They played great, but I certainly didn't see that coming. It came as a complete surprise to me. I was really disappointed."

On Alabama's defensive mistakes:
"I'm not really sure. I don't think anyone would have the answer. It's just one of those things that happens. It just unfortunately happened here. You haven't seen this all year long; didn't happen much at all. Bad things happen at a bad time."

On the positive aspects of the loss:
"The positive is that we get to play more games. (Assistant coaches) Vann (Stuedeman) and Alyson (Habetz) have said all year long that there's always a positive in a negative. Definitely the positive is that we get to play more games and be here longer. One team could do it, somebody has to do it, so it might as well be us."

On her pitching tonight:
"Ultimately, I have great respect for their lineup. They have great hitters, one through nine. Ultimately you can't give them free passes and I was doing that a little too much tonight."

On giving up eight hits after throwing two no-hitters in the super regional:
"Before we got here, we told ourselves not to change anything and just come in here and play our game. Giving up a hit is part of the game, and I'm not going to go the whole season without giving up a hit. Especially with a lineup and offense like Michigan's, I wasn't expecting to throw a no-hitter. You just have to keep the hitters in the lineup out of scoring position for your team to be able to pull out a win."

On how the team will respond to the loss:
"It's tough because I said from the moment we got here, I said no one wants to lose the first game. We can't. But like Coach said we have to see this as a positive because we want to be here. Us seniors want to be here and just like a team, we want to play more games. That's the motivation right there in itself. Again, just take one game at a time. Bounce back from the losers' bracket. This is not Alabama softball. So I think we're just motivated to get back out there and show them what we can do."

On what went wrong during the game:
"Just like Kelley (Montalvo) and Coach just said we made those adjustments a little too late. We have to recognize what our adjustments are going to be and they have to be earlier in the game on the offensive side. But like (Kelley) said, it's not Alabama softball. We're going to come together as a team. We have to come out on fire. We've been here before. We've got a good pitching staff. We're a great team and we're going to go all out."