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May 26, 2009 - Image 12

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

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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We are giving you $200
and a 1 in 10 ch an ce to win
$1 000 wh edn yoEu reDfer a
friend who signs a fease!

for Alabama
E Uy t

Sophomore Dorian Shaw will look to spar
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
has told her team time and time
again to play one-pitch softball
- not to look ahead or look at the
past, just to focus on the next pitch
Those single pitches will mean a
lot more as the fifth-seeded Wolver-
ines head to Oklahoma City to take
on Alabama in the first round of the
Women's College World Series.
The Crimson Tide is the No. 4
seed and, like Michigan, swept
through their Regional and Super
Regional matchups. All time, the
Wolverines hold a 4-3 record over
Alabama, but Michigan lost 3-2 in
their last meeting in 2006.
If Michigan wants to advance
past Alabama it will have to do
three things:
Get production out of the bot-
tom of the order: They just need
to get a hit - any hit. Alabama's
ace sophomore Kelsi Dunne, didn't
allow a hit in either of the Crimson
Tide's 9-0 victories over Jackson-
ville State in the Super Regionals.
After they grab that hit, the Wol-
verines will need the bottom of the
order to step up. The 7-8-9 hitters
(Dorian Shaw, Stephanie Kirkpat-
rick, and Teddi Ewing, respective-
ly) got the offense started in both
of Michigan's Super Regional wins
last weekend.
Shaw, a sophomore first base-
man, had three home runs to break
open the first game. Ewing, one
of two seniors on the team, went
3-for-6 on the weekend, notching
a leadoff hit in both the third and
fourth innings of Saturday's game.
Those hits sparked rallies that
resulted in seven total runs.
Kirkpatrick hit leadoff during
the second half of the year, but

k Michigan's batting against Alabama.
after falling into a slump, she was
dropped to eighth in the order.
Before a single in game two against
Baylor, Kirkpatrick's last 15 trips
to the plate went without hitting a
single pitch. If Michigan is going to
get deep in this tournament, then
it needs the bottom of the order to
once again be relevant.
Have a chance going into the
sixth inning: If it is close heading
into the sixth, Michigan has to like
its chances. The Wolverines have
outscored opponents 81-13 in the
final two innings this season. In
the postseason they haven't given
up a run in the sixth or the seventh
- outscoring their opposition 11-0
during their five playoff games.
They are also 32-0 when leading
heading into the sixth inning this
season. The only time they were
trailing going into the sixth in the
postseason was in regional play
against Notre Dame. They scored
two runs in the bottom seventh to
win in walk-off fashion. Michigan
fans shouldn't give up hope if they
trail late.
Leave the nerves in Ann
Arbor: Michigan has only three
people who have been to the
World Series before, all three of
whom are on the coaching staff.
With only one senior in the
starting lineup and no Women's
College World Series experience
on the field, Michigan will need
to overcome that lack of expe-
rience against a Crimson Tide
squad that was in the same posi-.
tion last year. But all season long
the Wolverines have overcome a
lack-of experience, starting five
Hutchins has preached her
philosophy of one-pitch softball all
Hopefully the choir hasbeen lis-

www.thecourtyards annarbor.com
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