COLUMBUS — Passover calls for observants to be very selective of what they can put on their plate. At a different kind of plate this weekend, the Michigan softball team was almost as selective.

The Wolverines (8-1 Big Ten, 27-10 overall) swept Ohio State, 10-2, 11-4 and 6-5 last weekend.

Michigan fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the series opener before scoring 10 unanswered runs, highlighted by two home runs from freshman designated player Sara Driesenga and four RBIs by junior second baseman Ashley Lane.

Nine of the 10 runs scored by Michigan came in the second, third, and fourth inning, including five in the third inning.

“Our energy never stops,” Lane said.

The Wolverines’ energy was not just limited to making contact but extending the at-bats as well.

“We made (Buckeye pitcher Mikayla Endicott) throw a lot,”said Michigan coach Carol Hutchins. “I thought that would bode well for us.”

For a quick comparison, freshman pitcher Haylie Wagner threw 104 pitches in seven innings in the first game for Michigan. Endicott threw 103 in three innings.

In the second game of the series, the Wolverines again fell behind early before unleashing a season-high 16 hits to win 11-4.

Trailing 3-1 after one, Michigan had a five-run inning to catapult them into the lead for the second-straight game. After junior Jaclyn Crummey scored a run on a fielding error, senior first baseman Amanda Chidester hit a bases-clearing double to give the Wolverines a 5-2 lead. The following batter, Lane, then singled Chidester in to put Michigan up, 6-2.

Sophomore left fielder Nicole Sappingfield’s first of four hits on the game enabled her to score the tie-breaking and ultimate game-winning run.

“It takes all of us to win,” Hutchins said. “We’re not a superstar team.”

The Wolverines’ patience at the plate led seven different players to collect at least one hit.

“You really need to wait for your pitch rather than swinging at the pitcher’s pitch,” Sappingfield said. “You can definitely tell when we we’re being patient.”

In Saturday’s second game — the final game of the series — Michigan continued what they had done all weekend: force the Buckeyes (5-4, 23-14) to throw a lot of pitches.

The Wolverines jumped out to an early lead by scoring four runs in the first inning. Driesenga drew the fourth walk of the inning to put the Wolverines up 1-0 without registering a hit.

The first hit finally came when junior shortstop Amy Knapp laced a bases-clearing double to the wall to make the score 4-0. By the end of the first, Endicott had thrown 60 pitches. She finished the game with 144.

Michigan’s lead would not last long, though. Ohio State got its first three batters on base before sophomore first baseman Evelyn Carrillo connected a grand slam to right field to tie the game up, 4-4.

The Wolverines quickly struck back, scoring a run in the second and third innings to make the score 6-4.

“It really showed with our team that when we get down, no one stresses because we’re used to coming back every day,” said senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick.

After Michigan gave a run back due to two errors in the fifth, Ohio State seemed to gain momentum going into the sixth. But with two runners on and two outs, sophomore left fielder Nicole Sappingfield made a diving catch to record the final out of the inning and keep the lead intact.

Wagner then finished the job by retiring the Buckeyes 1-2-3 to earn her 19th win of the season — on her 19th birthday, no less.

Facing a tie or deficit at the beginning of the game turned out to be a common theme throughout the weekend for the Wolverines.

“We play one inning at a time,” Hutchins said. “We keep moving forward.”

With the sweep of the Buckeyes, Michigan now stands alone atop of the Big Ten standings after coming into the weekend tied for second with Ohio State.

“We just needed to come back and come back strong,” Kirkpatrick said. “Sweeping a team with a similar record is only going to help us in the long run.”

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