In her most blunt way, Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins summed up the offensive production and what No. 20 Michigan did well.

Since Tuesday’s scheduled game against Western Michigan (18-12 overall) was postponed to yesterday due to inclement weather, the Wolverines had an extra day to prepare.

The team didn’t have the right mindset entering the game, according to Hutchins.

“They just thought they were going to walk in here and show up because they have Michigan on their chest,” Hutchins said.

Instead, Michigan (8-1 Big Ten, 27-11) did something it had not done in over five years — lose to Western Michigan — which they had not done at home in nearly 20 years.

“We got what we deserved,” Hutchins said.

The Wolverines’ bats looked to remain hot following a three-game sweep over the weekend against Ohio State, when they scored 27 runs and tallied 32 hits.

This wasn’t the case, as the Wolverines managed just four hits against Broncos pitcher Meredith Wagner, two of which were hit by sophomore left fielder Nicole Sappingfield.

Michigan had a chance to score in the second inning after freshman pitcher Sara Driesenga led off the inning with a double to the left-center wall.

The next batter was senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick, whose intent was to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move sophomore pinch runner Katie Luetkens to third. But she was hit by a pitch, giving the Wolverines runners on first and second with no outs.

With two runners on, Hutchins decided to go for a big inning and not attempt another sacrifice bunt to move the runners over to second and third.

This would ultimately cost Michigan a run, as the next three hitters popped up, flied out and struck out, stranding the two runners on base. If the runners had been moved over with a bunt, the fly out would likely have been long enough to score Luetkens from third to give Michigan a 1-0 lead.

As the game dragged on to the fifth inning with the score still 0-0 and each team with just two hits apiece, it became apparent that one run could be enough to win the game.

Western Michigan added that run in the sixth on a two-out single by first baseman Tara Buchanan.

“(Driesenga) gave up a run and clearly couldn’t afford to give up a run,” Hutchins said.

Unlike this past weekend, when the Wolverines worked their at-bats and made the Ohio State pitching staff throw balls, they weren’t able to pressure the pitchers on Wednesday.

Whitney struck out five batters for the Broncos, including the 600th of her career, on the way to a complete-game shutout.

The biggest reason for Whitney’s success was her ability to constantly get the Wolverines to pop the ball up.

“I just give Whitney credit,” Hutchins said. “Our kids absolutely didn’t show up.”

Michigan had a chance to draw even in the bottom of the seventh, but again, the offense couldn’t capitalize.

After Sappingfield hit a chopper to short with two outs, senior centerfielder Bree Evans hit a bullet off the pitcher and reached first to keep Michigan’s chances alive.

Hutchins decided to pinch-hit sophomore Mandy Gardner, who worked the count full before fouling out to first for the final out.

Gardner was not the only pinch hitter in the game for the Wolverines. Earlier in the game, sophomore Taylor Hasselbach pinch-hit and yielded the same result — a pop out.

“For my two pinch-hitters to come in and hit pop ups is even worse,” Hutchins said. “(Hasselbach and Gardner) had the whole game to watch and all we asked them to do is hit the ball on the ground.”

Hutchins made it clear that Thursday’s practice will drill this concept into her players’ brains.

“We’re going to hit everything on the ground,” Hutchins said. “Tomorrow will be a very intense practice.”

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