May 22, 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team collected its second run-rule victory of the day, defeating No. 24 Notre Dame, 8-0, in five innings at the NCAA Regional on Saturday (May 22) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. U-M scored in three different innings, including six in the third, to reach the regional final. The Wolverines (48-6) will await their opponent for the NCAA Regional championship game, slated for a 1 p.m. start Sunday (May 23).

Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) was stellar from the pitching circle, striking out 11 -- three apiece in the first and second innings -- and allowed just three hits and no walks en route her eighth complete-game shutout of the campaign. The victory improved her season record to 25-3.

Senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) and senior designated player Nikki Nemitz (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Regina HS) went long for three runs apiece in the third to headline the Wolverine offense. Viefhaus went 2-for-3 from the plate to account for a third of U-M's six hits.

Sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) led off the third inning with a walk and subsequent left-side single before Viefhaus took the first pitch of her at-bat and hung it high in the wind, providing just enough power to sneak it onto the baseball field in straightaway centerfield for her 18th home run of the season.

In the same inning, Nemitz followed a similar script to drive in three more runs after Notre Dame collected its first out, succeeding a walk by junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) and a single from sophomore second baseman Amanda Chidester's (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) with a first-pitch home run that just snuck over the rightfield fence, giving the Wolverines a 7-0 advantage.

Sophomore shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central HS) recorded her second run-scoring hit of the weekend to put the Wolverines on the board in the bottom of the second. With freshman pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota HS) occupying second base after a leadoff walk and subsequent sacrifice, Kirkpatrick connected with the 0-2 pitch and lofted a single into shallow right centerfield to push the game's first run across.

Senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) pushed the Wolverines into run-rule territory with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fourth inning. Findlay walked and advanced to third on a Viefhaus single down the rightfield line before senior Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson) sent her home on a groundout to shortstop.

With the eight-run cushion, Taylor made little work of the Irish in the top of the fifth, forcing a popup before issuing back-to-back strikeouts to close out the contest.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423