BOWLING GREEN – The day started out sunny.
Michigan’s softball team spent its first few hours in Bowling Green happily trouncing what should have been an easy MAC team.
The Wolverines came out of their first game of a doubleheader grinning about their 4-0 victory over a struggling pack of Falcons. This game was an especially auspicious one for Michigan pitcher Marissa Young, who improved her record to 10-0.
At this point, it seemed as if the decision to change the regularly scheduled game into a doubleheader was a good one for the Wolverines. Both teams were eager to receive the extra playing time, as several games on both schedules had been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Then, the clouds rolled in.
Game two started out slowly, with Michigan sophomore Nicole Motycka steadily handling the pitching. At the end of the second inning, Michigan coach Carol Hutchins called the team together to adjust the hitting strategy.
Everything seemed to be going according to plan; the Wolverines continued to outhit Bowling Green, and in the top of the third, senior Melinda Moulden drove in freshman Tiffany Haas, putting Michigan ahead, 1-0.
With the fourth and fifth innings came more of the same. Motycka, who was coming off of an impressive five-game winning streak after a weekend at the Boilermaker Classic in West Lafayette, managed to hold off Bowling Green’s batting order. It appeared as if Michigan was on its way to another win, setting the stage for a long weekend of Big Ten competition.
But that’s when it began to rain.
Despite the fact that the weather has proven to be a big burden for the Wolverines all season, it was not a storm that prevented or hindered another stellar Blue performance.
After a scoreless sixth inning for Michigan, the defense was prepared to ensure a similar fate for the Falcons. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Bowling Green had other plans.
Motycka, who kept the Falcons at bay for five innings, began to waver, and Bowling Green capitalized on its opportunity. The downward spiral began when the Falcons started to hit, bringing a run in to tie the game.
When Bowling Green’s Libby Voshell drove in two more runs, however, the Wolverines became more frantic in their defensive effort. Motycka was replaced with freshman Jennie Ritter, who managed to hold the Falcons for the remainder of the inning.
Michigan struggled in vain for runs in the final inning, but was unable to pull off the late-game comeback as the Falcons won 3-1.
In spite of this setback, Hutchins continues to have faith in her players and their effort.
“I am not disappointed with my team,” she said.