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Michigan splits series with Spartans; Big Ten Tournament Set

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Sunday, May 06, 2007 - Alex Brooks

It was a pink weekend in the State of Michigan’s softball duel between the Wolverines and Spartans. Unfortunately, it started very blue for Michigan on Saturday, but on Sunday for senior day, it was as rosy as usual.

 

On Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan struggled throughout the afternoon to score runs, but it wasn’t because of shortage of opportunities. In all seven innings, the Wolverines had at least one runner on base; and, in the last six frames, a runner at second; and in two innings runners at first and second. However, none of these scoring chances paid off in the contest as, despite having nine hits, Michigan was shutout by Spartan pitcher Lesley Noel. Meanwhile, Michigan State homeruns in both the third and sixth innings of three and two runs, respectively, as well as two in the fourth led the way to a 7-0 victory.

 

Lorilyn Wilson picked up only her sixth loss of the season in a game which she struggled, giving up six hits and five runs in just three innings of work. Nikki Nemitz, who came on in relief, gave up four hits and two runs.

 

As the Strike Out Breast Cancer crew traveled from Lansing down to Ann Arbor, so did the Michigan softball team in hope of revenge. And boy did they ever. Right out of the gates in the first inning, Michigan scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning in response to the Spartan’s only run in the first. Tiffany Worthy started the offensive charge with a two run double with the bases loaded. Angela Findlay, who advanced to third on Worthy’s double, scored on an illegal pitch a batter later.

 

In inning number two, a trio of doubles from Molly Bausher, Teddi Ewing, and Rebekah Milian brought home two runs, with Ewing and Milian earning the RBIs. Milian tallied another RBI in the fourth off of a SAC ground ball. In the same inning, Samantha Findlay hit an RBI single to extend Michigan’s lead to 5-0. Milian, who is one of only four seniors on the club, continued her excellent showing on senior day with her two run double in the fifth which forced the run rule to be put into place after the 7-0 lead.

 

Nikki Nemitz, picking up her 21st win, impressed yet again with her three hit one run complete game showing.

 

So, that ends the regular season, which saw many spectacular games, including the 11-run output against Northwestern earlier in the season and the five run rally in the seventh inning against Purdue. In the end, it results in a 42-10 record and a 12-4 conference record, which is good for a third place finish in the Big Ten. With Ohio State’s sweep of Penn State this weekend, the Buckeyes earn the right to host the Big Ten Tournament with the regular season crown.

 

The Big Ten Tournament is set:

 

Thursday, May 10

 

Game 1: #2 Northwestern vs. #7 Michigan State at 5 p.m.

Game 2: #1 Ohio State vs. #8 Penn State at 7:30 p.m.

 

Friday, May 11

 

Game 3: #3 Michigan vs. #6 Illinois at 12 p.m.

Game 4: #4 Iowa vs. #5 Purdue at 2:30 p.m.

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner at 5 p.m.

Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner

 

Saturday, May 12

 

Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner for the Tournament Championship at 1 p.m.*

*Game 7 will be broadcast on CSTV

 

Illinois is a tough out in the first round, as the Wolverines dropped a 5-3 eight inning decision to the Fighting Illini in April, in a game which Michigan was leading 3-0 in the seventh inning. The difference may come down to crucial game experience and coaching, both of which Michigan should have the upper hand in. And we are not even talking about our possible second opponent, which will probably be Northwestern. The Wildcats would have a day’s rest while we would have to play two and a half hours apart from our games. Either way, our senior leadership – Rebekah Milian, Tiffany Worthy, and Lorilyn Wilson – will have to carry us through the Big Ten Tournament as well as determining how far we can advance in the big thing (NCAA Tournament).

 

Go Blue!


Alex Brooks
Contributor, UMGoBlue.COM

 
 
 
 
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