Monday, May 9, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Michigan breezes by Minnesota in series sweep
By EMILY BONCHI
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan softball team got
out its broom on Sundav after-
noon following a two-game series
sweep over Minnesota at Alumni
It was MINNESOTA 21
the Wolver- MICHIGAN 4
conference MINNESOTA 1
sweep of the MICHIGAN 8
The second-ranked Wolverines
downed the Golden Gophers on
Sunday, 8-1, and on Saturday, 4-2,
led by senior pitcher Jordan Tay-
lor, who manned the mound for
both games of the weekend series.
"You want your kids to come
out and rip the ball every inning,"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said after the game on Sunday.
"But in general, we're going to
have to face competition when it
counts (like on Saturday)."
The Wolverines (16-2 Big Ten,
49-4 overall) came out swing-
ing on Sunday, facing Minnesota
pitcher Sara Moulton for the sec-
ond day in a row. But Moulton took
a little too long to get situated,
allowing Michigan to take advan-
tage and put three early runs up
on the board.
After the Golden Gophers load-
ed the bases in the third inning
with no outs, it looked like Min-
nesota (8-10, 30-23) would surely
Sophomore shortstop Amy Knapp broke her slump with a three-run triple to boost Michigan over Minnesota on Sunday.
put some tally marks on the board.
But Taylor made a play at home
and struck out two to allow the
Wolverines to return to the bench
"I thought today we were bet-
ter," Hutchins said. "I just don't
like to see us get complacent. I
thought we got a little complacent
(after the first inning).
"And then it puts the pressure
back on Jordan. All of a sudden
Minnesota had bases loaded with
In the fifth, it was Michigan's
turn to have the bases loaded with
sophomore shortstop Amy Knapp
walking to the plate. Knapp had
been in a slump, hitting inconsis-
tently for a team-low .228.
But she fought off Moulton, foul
ball after foul ball, until she made
contact for a bases-clearing triple
for a seven-run lead.
"I haven't really been consis-
tent lately, but today, coming out
and actually getting hits and put-
ting the ball in play just boosts
my confidence a lot," Knapp said.
"I've had a couple rough weeks,
but today I'm glad to finally break
out of my shell."
After Taylor earned 10 strike-
outs in six innings to help give
Michigan a large lead, sophomore
pitcher Stephanie Speierman
came in. -
Saturday night's matchup was
not as easy for the Wolverines, as
they trailed early by a 2-0 mark.
In the fourth, junior third base-
man Amanda Chidester, who
boasts a season batting average
of .414, hit a hard single up the
middle to send freshman left
fielder Nicole Sappingfield home
for the Wolverines' first run. But
Michigan left the bases loaded as
Moulton ended the inning with
two big outs.
Senior first baseman Dorian
Shaw, who hasn't been at her
best at the plate over the past few
weeks, earned her chance to step
up for the Wolverines in the fifth.
After Sappingfield hit a single
down the right side to send fresh-
man right fielder Lindsay Doyle
home for the tying run, Shaw
stepped up to the plate and hit a
rocket out to the center-field wall
for an RBI double.
"I think it's good to have these
types of situations in our refer-
ence," Shaw said of coming back to
win. "It shows that we're capable
of doing these things and are a
A fielding error two batters
later allowed Shaw to. score, giv-
ing Taylor a two-run lead to work
with for the next two innings.
Minnesota threatened to come
back in the top of the seventh after
putting runners on first and sec-
ond, but the Wolverines stayed
consistent in their defense to put
the outs away before any Golden
Gophers reached home.
"When hitters are getting hits
off of Jordan, it's up to us to get
the outs that are available," Shaw
said. "And ... it's just that that lets
her know, 'We're behind you. They
may be hitting you, but they're not
going to score runs.'"
Michigan will play Michigan
State next weekend for a home-
and-home series to close out the
regular season. Friday will serve
as Senior Night in Ann Arbor.
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