BY LUKE PASCH
Daily Sports Writer
Published May 27, 2010
The No. 2 Michigan softball team was devastated in more ways than one in its NCAA super regional opener against Tennessee.
The Wolverines lost at home for the first time since the 2008 Super Regional, when they were defeated by Virginia Tech. And this time they were nearly no-hit by freshman hurler Ivy Renfroe in a 5-0 loss.
It was the end of a 36-game winning streak at home and the first time Michigan was shut out since playing Florida in last year’s Women’s College World Series.
Only three batters had reached base against Renfroe heading into the seventh inning — two on walks and one on a throwing error from Lady Vol shortstop Ashley Andrews. In the final frame, junior first baseman Dorian Shaw grounded a one-out single down the third baseline for Michigan’s first hit. Sophomore second baseman followed it up with an infield single.
Then, Renfroe induced a fly-out and a ground ball to end the game.
As if the shutout loss wasn’t enough, sophomore leftfielder Bree Evans suffered an injury to her right forearm on a friendly fire. On a 1-0 pitch from Renfroe in the fourth inning, Shaw drilled a ball into the home dugout right at Evans, who was leaning over the railing.
The Ann Arbor crowd was dead silent and Shaw looked on in horror as Michigan’s trainers tended to Evans.
She would exit the game, and freshman utility player Ashley Lane replaced her in the lineup. Evans will be x-rayed later tonight, and Michigan coach Carol Hutchins will likely reveal her status tomorrow morning.
Hutchins has not yet decided what lineup changes would be made should Evans not be available tomorrow afternoon.
Although she was bested by Renfroe, junior pitcher Jordan Taylor pitched better than the scoreboard indicated. Just one the five runs she surrendered were earned, and she was called for illegal pitches three times. She still struck out 10 Tennessee batters over her seven innings of work.
Game two of the best-of-three series will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Should Michigan force a game three, the final game will take place right after, at 7:00 p.m.