In the second game of a doubleheader against Central Michigan
yesterday, the day turned cold and rainy at Alumni Field. After
four and a half scoreless innings, it was beginning to look like
the No. 9 Michigan softball team was ready to exchange its Gatorade
for some hot cocoa. But for the Wolverines, when it rains, it
pours.

Michigan Softball
Michigan second baseman Tiffany Haas, right, celebrates alongside her teammates. The softball team took a pair of games from Central Michigan yesterday during a rainy doubleheader. (JEFF LEHNERT/Daily)

The rally started in the bottom of the fifth inning of the
second game, when sophomore Tiffany Haas reached on an error.
Fifth-year senior Meghan Doe beat out a throw to first base, and
junior Nicole Motycka earned a free pass. With one out and the
bases loaded, senior Jennifer Olds stepped up to the plate. She was
robbed of an extra-base hit in her previous at-bat in the third
inning, when her bullet to deep centerfield was snagged. But Olds
got her revenge in the form of an RBI single that put Michigan on
the scoreboard and set the pace for the Wolverines’ 3-0
victory against the Chippewas to sweep yesterday’s
doubleheader.

“I cleared my mind and said, ‘I’m going to get
a base hit no matter what,’ ” Olds said. “(I
said), ‘I’m going to hit it hard, and I’m going
to get on (base).’ There was nothing else on my mind but
that. And that’s the only time you can get a hit in
softball.”

Michigan (11-1 Big Ten, 40-7 overall) also had a slow start in
the first game against Central Michigan (10-1 MAC, 21-11 overall),
but managed a 4-0 win.

“I didn’t think we had a lot of good energy, but in
general we played good solid softball,” Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. “I told the girls before the game,
‘Don’t take winning for granted.’ I am pleased
that we’re playing good softball, but in both games we took a
lot to get going.”

It wasn’t until after Olds’s clutch hit that the
Wolverines came alive. Before the end of the fifth inning,
sophomore Grace Leutele knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly,
bringing the score to 2-0 in favor of Michigan.

“(Early in the game), we were getting down and
weren’t as excited as we should’ve been,” Olds
said. “Once we decided we had to get more up-beat,
that’s when we got those two runs and continued the game like
that.”

Entering the game in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter, senior
Monica Schock brought another Michigan run across the plate with a
sacrifice fly.

On the mound, freshman Lorilyn Wilson got the start and held the
Chippewas to four hits while tallying eight strikeouts. Central
Michigan threatened in the fourth inning with runners on first and
second base. But with two outs, Wilson got the next batter to fly
out to shallow centerfield. After Wilson got out of that jam, the
Chippewa bats were quieted for the majority of the rest of
game.

“I think she got better as she went along,” Hutchins
said. “I thought she really picked it up in the final innings
of the game … I’m confident that we will be able to
use her during the weekend games fairly soon.”

Wilson felt she became more determined as the game went on.

“After the coaches yelled at me enough, I knew I really
need to get ahead of the batters,” Wilson said.

Though Wilson’s shutout performance led Michigan’s
defense, Olds attributed the team’s slow start at the plate,
in part, to Central Michigan. The Chippewas are currently on top of
the Mid-Atlantic Conference and took two wins from top-10 teams
earlier in the season, one against then-No. 4 Washington and
then-No. 5 Oklahoma.

“(Central Michigan) has excellent pitching and are a very
good team,” Olds said. “Just because they aren’t
a Big Ten school doesn’t mean they’re not
competition.”

Central Michigan kept pace with Michigan throughout the game,
but the Wolverines got the job done with a familiar formula they
have used all season so far.

“Good defense and … being determined enough to get
the hits when we needed them,” Wilson said.

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