If Monica Schock and Marissa Young thought their apartment was always happy, their efforts today brought that happiness to a whole new level.
The pitcher and catcher, who are also roommates, dominated from the mound and from the plate to lead the Michigan softball team to a 5-0 victory over Canisius in the opening round of the NCAA Regional 6 Softball Championship. Schock hit twice as many homers as she has all season, and Young struck out a career-high 16 batters.
The Wolverines began to mount a threat in the third when singles by Lisa Mack and Kelsey Kollen gave them runners on second and third with one out. Then Meghan Doe bunted the ball to the left side for what seemed like an easy play by Griffs’ third baseman Amanda Luukinen, but pitcher Veronica Maher caught the ball off the bag, giving Doe a hit and leaving the bases loaded. After Stefanie Volpe popped out to the catcher, Schock towered a high fastball just over the fence in right-center field for a grand slam.
“I didn’t even realize that I hit it over until I saw the umpire,” Schock said. “I sprinted all the way to second. I was just looking for a good strike that I could get a base-hit off of.”
Batting clean up all season, Schock has set career highs in runs, hits, doubles and runs batted in, but she had only hit the ball over the fence once.
“Her biggest thing is being able to use her legs,” Hutchins said. “She’s so strong she can hit the ball well not using her legs. When she hit that pitch it was going to be gone. I saw all her legs go into the ball.”
Schock went deep again in the sixth inning, when she took a Maher changeup down the line in right.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a changeup hit so far,” Maher said. “I went high and in on her, and she took that (the first time). Then I thought maybe I could get her on a change. She’s that far ahead of the ball, and she took that, too.”
While not hitting the ball out of the park, Schock called one of Young’s most dominating games of the season. Young was nearly unhittable from the first pitch, surrendering just two baserunners in the game’s first six innings. Young was so in control that in the second inning, a Canisius player started to walk over to the bench, thinking she had struck out, while she in fact had just two strikes.
“Me and (Schock) were working really well together today,” Young said. “I was actually missing a lot of my spots, but she bailed me out.”
The Wolverines continue on their road to the Women’s College World Series on Friday when they play the winner of the Ohio State-Central Michigan game at 4:30 p.m. But until then, Schock and Young will enjoy their always happy household.
“Especially on days like this,” Schock said.