YPSILANTI — Fifty-five.
That’s the number of innings the Michigan softball team
has played without allowing a single run. Yesterday, the Wolverines
won both games of a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan by a 5-0
mark, extending the scoreless streak.
Solid pitching has been the key to Michigan’s success all
season long. Yesterday, sophomore Jennie Ritter led the way with 15
strikeouts in the second game. She pitched a complete game shutout,
allowing just two hits and four walks.
“(The difference was) movement,” Ritter said.
“I have had problems with my movement in the last couple of
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said that she thought it was one
of Ritter’s best games, admitting that she didn’t even
keep track of the actual number of strikeouts Ritter had.
“Her ball was really biting, and therefore moving a
lot,” Hutchins said. “And she really had some good pop.
I was pleased to see that. I thought she looked good.”
The game plan for the day was to make sure all three of
Michigan’s starting pitchers got some work before this
weekend. So that Ritter could pitch the entire second game,
Hutchins had to divide the first game between the two other
starters — freshman Lorilyn Wilson and junior Nicole
“We want all our pitchers to get a chance to get some
innings,” Hutchins said. “And, between Nicole and
Lorilyn, we definitely didn’t want Nicole throwing too much.
It was a light workout day for her.”
Wilson started the day on the mound for the Wolverines. Ever
since Motycka — who took a couple starts off because of a leg
injury — came back into the rotation, Wilson has spent most
of her time in the bullpen. She has pitched well when she has been
in, and she leads the team with an ERA of 0.48. But she has only
started six games.
“The reason we gave her the start is because she has come
into games when we’re ahead and there is no pressure,”
Hutchins said. “I wanted her to start the game and feel the
same heat that everybody else feels for a game.”
Wilson said that she was disappointed about walking two batters,
but was pleased with her performance overall. She gave up just one
hit in four innings of work.
In the fourth inning, she got herself into a little bit of a jam
after giving up two singles. There were runners on first and second
with just one out, and Hutchins decided it was time to make a trip
to the mound to calm Wilson down.
“I wanted her to clear her mind and make her pitches work
— go after the hitter and allow the team to help her,”
Hutchins said. “She was either striking people out or walking
them. She just needed to hit her spots and then, if they hit it,
we’ll field it.
“I thought Lorilyn looked very good. She pitched real
well. I think that she is getting better and better. Every outing
After the talk, Wilson struck out the next two batters and got
out of the inning. Hutchins said that she would have liked the
freshman to have pitched more, but she wanted to get Motycka in to
pitch a few innings.
Even though she threw three scoreless innings and gave up just
two hits, Motycka said that she was a little disappointed with the
way she pitched. Hutchins agreed, but blamed it in part on the fact
that she was coming in at the end of the game.
“I didn’t think that Nicole was as sharp as
I’ve seen her,” Hutchins said. “She was missing
some of her pitches. She had some good velocity and she had some
good pitches, But, in three innings, she didn’t really get a
chance to get in her groove.”