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May 26, 2009 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-05-26

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Tuesday, May 26,2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com i
WORLD SERIES BOUND
Wolverines punch their ticket to Oklahoma City

By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Writer
A three-year hiatus was long
enough for coach Carol Hutchins
and the Michigan softball team.
Since 2005 when they became the
University's only team national
champions since the 2001 field
hockey team, the Wolverines have
watched
each of MICHIGAN 8
their BAYLOR 1
seasons
end one MICHIGAN 7
round too BAYLOR 1
early. .
This year, Michigan gets to go
back where it belongs.
The fifth-seeded Wolverines
beat Baylor 8-1 and 7-1in the Super
Regional, best two-out-of-three
series to get back to the Women's
College World Series - their first
since the 2005 National Champion-
ship season.
"It's why they come to Michi-
gan," Hutchins said. "When they
come here at some point they real-
ize they're the ones that get it done.
What this group has accomplished
here, they did that. Michigan didn't
do it and I didn't do it, but the kids
do it."
For the past four years, senior
shortstop Teddi Ewing has taken
her spot on the field with the 2005
National Champions sign bear-
ing down on her. While the faces
around her have changed, she was

a stalwart for Michigan over the
past four years. But she hadn't bro-
ken through the Super Regional
barrier.
Ewing's trip to Oklahoma City
this season means that every player
who has come through the Michi-
gan softball program since 1992
will have reached at least one Col-
lege World Series.
Despite having a sub-par year at
the plate, hitting .185 on the sea-
son, Ewing went 2-for-4 against
the Bears (40-22) and scored two
runs in her final game at Alumni
Field. Both of her hits were the first
hits in rallies that scored four runs
and then three runs in the follow-
ing inning.
"We really bought in to playing
one-pitch softball and believing in
each other and believing in the pro-
gram," Ewing said. "It means a lot
to get back to Oklahoma City and
have a chance to go for it again."
While game two was highlight-
ed by Ewing's performance, it was
all about sophomore first baseman
Dorian Shaw in game one.
Shaw tied a Michigan single-
game record when she registered
three home runs. With the Wolver-
ines already up 1-0, she took Baylor
starter Whitney Canion deep in
the second inning. In the fifth, she
homered off Brittney Turner, and
an inning later it was Shaina Brock
who had the honor of giving up the
record-tying long ball. .
"We see her do it every day in

The Michigan softball team celebrates at Alumni Field following its 7-1 victory over Baylor on Saturday.

practice," junior Nikki Nemitz said.
"It's a great energy (boost) seeing
the ball go that far in a game and
counting, as opposed to in practice.
We feed off of that."
The offense had its ups and
downs this year, but its pitching
has been consistent and didn't dis-
appoint in the Super Regionals.
Nemitz and sophomore Jordan
Taylor combined to give up only
eight hits while striking out 21hit-
ters in their two games.
Taylor struck out 13 in the
series-clinching game, making it
her sixth consecutive start with
double-digit strikeouts.
"Those are two very good pitch-
ers," Baylor coach Glenn Moore

said. "They complement-each other
very well, two different styles.
(Taylor's) off-speed is devastating,
she has a late break on the ball and
it's very hard to stay on it."
The Wolverines will need their
pitchers to outduel the No. 4 seed
Alabama in their first game of the
WCWS Thursday. The Crimson

Tide's Kelsi Dunne went through
both games of the Super Regional
without having a single hit regis-
tered against her.
"I don't concern myself a whole
lot with who we're playing because
our focus is on us," Hutchins said.
"Our strength is us, and we focus
on us."

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