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August 02, 2010 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2010-08-02

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Monday, August 2, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Taylor excelswithUSAFutures at World Cup

By CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
Wearing a uniform of red, white
and blue, Michigan softball pitcher
Jordan Taylor pulled up to the Ama-
teur Softball Association Hall of Fame
Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
ready to compete against some of the
world's top players.
Taylor, who was named in mid-
May to compete on the USA Futures
team in the 2010 KFC World Cup of
Softball, couldn't wait to step on the
mound.
But at her first sight of the stadium,
the senior saw the Women's College
World Series Championship banner
congratulating UCLA on their Nation-
al Championship and immediately felt
a pain in the bottom of her stomach.
"Pulling up to the stadium for the
first time was hard," Taylor said.
"There (was) UCLA Champions 2010
stuff everywhere. I didn't think it
was going to be difficult. I didn't even
think about it.
"But it definitely put a little fire
back in me, if there wasn't already one,
to really get back next year. Everyone
knew that we really missed a golden
opportunity with last year's team. I
think it will kind of kick us in our butts
a little bit to get back there."
Taylor took it upon herself to ignite
the fire for next season's Wolverines
team by putting her talents on dis-

play for the USA Futures team. The
Futures team - comprised of the best
current collegiate softball players
from around the country - took third
place in the competition, with a 3-4
overall record.
The competition featured the USA
National team, the USA Futures team
and all-star teams from Canada and
"There is a buzz
about who is
going to be the
new pitcher."
Japan. With little time to practice
and facing all-star lineups on tap each
night, Taylor had to quickly get com-
fortable with new catchers and the
defense behind her.
In the Futures' first game against
Canada, Taylor got the nod to pitch
the seventh inning and was credited
with her first save of the competition,
as the team beat Canada 5-4 on July
23.
Taylor was also the starting pitcher
in the team's first game against the
USA National team the following day
and kept the best professional softball

players in the United States on their
toes before surrendering the loss, 1-0.
In the loss, Taylor only gave up three
hits while striking out four.
"When you're facing teams like
these, you can't miss a pitch," Taylor
said. "It really brings the competitive
drive out of me.
"It opened my eyes a little bit to
exactly what I could do and what I
would be able to do, which is keep one
of the best hitting teams to one run.
It just gave me a little bit more confi-
dence in my abilities."
The right-hander also tossed the
third-place game of the competition,
as the Futures secured third place in
the World Cup with Taylor's complete
game performance. She struck out
seven batters in the 9-3 Futures' vic-
tory on July 26.
"I've always had a competitive
drive, but I think it was upped a little
bit more after playing with this team,"
Taylor said. "I (saw) that I could com-
pete in international play against some
of the best players and against teams
that have been playing together for
up to 10 years ... It definitely showed
me that I need to start being my own
pitcher, and that I don't need to con-
stantly be like other pitchers and use
their strategies."
The hurler pitched 16 total innings
and finished the tournament with a
team-best 1.69 ERA in four games.
Taylor gave up eight hits and three

-art

JAKE FROMM/Daily
Michigan softball pitcher Jordan Taylor represented the USA Futures this past weekend.

earned runs and only one home run,
while striking out 11 and walking just
three.
The 2010 KFC World Cup of Soft-
ball marked United States' ace pitcher
Jennie Finch's retirement from pro-
fessional softball - a departure that
was filled with memories and sadness
from USA National and Futures team
members alike.
But with Finch finished competing
for the USA, the National team's pitch-
ing situation has drastically changed.
Taylor has already recognized the

possibilities the future could hold if
she stays focused on her game.
"The national roster is extremely
difficult to get on, and now that Jen-
nie Finch retired there is a buzz about
who is going to be the new pitcher,"
Taylor said. "The pitching spots are
always competitive.
"There are girls who have been on
the border (of securing that spot) for
a couple years now. You have to be on
your game and do well, and playing for
the Futures has given me more moti-
vation to do (my) best."

Bauer sisters fall short in Michigan Amateur

Ashley and Meagan
Bauer suffer losses in
quarterfinal play
By KEVIN RAFTERY
Daily Sports Writer
It was a long shot for the Bauer sis-
ters, but the potential was there.
After making it through the quali-
fier at the 94th Annual Michigan
Women's Amateur last Monday and
Tuesday, Ashley and Meagan Bauer
found themselves on opposite sides
of the 32-person match-play bracket.
Both would have to win four matches
in order to face each other in the finals
on Friday.
Despite playing fairly well in high-
pressure situations throughout the
tournament, the sisters fell in the

quarterfinals, ending their bid to
eventually face each other.
Ashley, who graduated from the
Ross School of Business in the spring,
holds nearly every record in the Mich-
igan women's golf record book.
After shooting 75-69 to qualify
for the match-play tournament as
the fourth seed, Ashley won her first
round match against 29th-ranked
Molly Esordi, 3 & 2. In the second
round, she defeated 20th-ranked
Sarah Johnson to move on to the quar-
terfinals.
"I played really well and made a
lot of putts in the first round," Ashley
said. "I was never really more than
one up, I think, until the last couple
holes in the first match. In the sec-
ond match, we both didn't play our 'A'
game. I got a couple breaks on that.
Both of us didn't play to our potential."
Meagan, a junior on the golf team

this coming fall, was the 11th-seed
after posting 79-73 in the qualifier,
defeated 22nd-seed Michelle Bowles 3
& 1 in the first round and sixth-seeded
Alexandra Lipa 2 & 1 in the second
round.
Two more victories stood in the
way of a possible Bauer-versus-Bauer
final. The two sisters had never played
against each other in match play
before. Unfortunately, it would stay
that way. On Thursday, Meagan faced
Michigan State senior and third-seed
Natalie Brehm in the quarterfinals.
After losing the first three holes,
it appeared that Meagan would be
defeated easily, until she fought back
and cut the deficit to just one going
into No. 17. But it was too little, too
late, as Brehm parred the par-4, 17th,
and Meagan bogeyed after hitting her
approach shot into the bunker.
"It was pretty close when it got

towards the end," Meagan said. "I felt
like it could have gone either way, but I
just didn't quite make it through.
I went out there and tried my best.
"Unfortunately
I came up a
couple short, but
I played well."
You win some and you lose some, and
unfortunately it didn't end up how I
wanted."
On Thursday afternoon, Ashley
squared off in a nail-biter against Ohio
State sophomore and fifth-seed Amy

Meier in her quarterfinal match.
After draining a 20-foot birdie putt
on No. 15 to win the hole, Ashley was
down one with three to play. She fol-
lowed that up by hitting her approach
shot to within 10 feet of the hole on
No. 16, and it appeared that she was in
great shape to even up the match. But
she went on to three-putt the hole and
Meier two-putted, and just like that
Ashley was two down. After another
nice approach shot to about eight feet
on No. 17, Ashley failed to convert the
birdie putt and both she and Meier
parred, giving the victory to Meier.
"I missed a couple of putts that cost
me, which seems to be the story of my
career to anyone who's watched me,"
she said. "Unfortunately I came up
a couple short, but I played well. I'm
disappointed that I didn't make those
putts, but (Meier) played very well
too."

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