COLUMBUS — With Michigan leading 6-2 in the fourth inning of Friday’s game against Ohio State, junior second baseman Ashley Lane saw 11 pitches before she took a power swing.

And after putting six balls in foul territory, Lane’s 12th pitch of the at-bat soared over the left-field fence.

Lane’s three-run home run extended the No. 20 Michigan softball team’s lead to seven, but her long at-bat that was even more pleasing her coach.

“That was actually a fantastic at-bat,” said Michigan coach Carol Hutchins. “(Lane) hung in there. She only got a piece of that ball, but she’s got a lot of power.”

Patience was a virtue for the Wolverines this weekend.

They took their time at the plate throughout the weekend sweep of Ohio State, forcing the Buckeye pitchers to throw seven or eight pitches per batter and quickly rack up pitches. After three innings on Friday, Ohio State’s Mikayla Endicott had thrown 103 pitches to Michigan batters, and during Saturday’s second game, she threw 60 pitches in the first inning alone.

“(Endicott) was throwing a lot of pitches, which bodes well for us,” Hutchins said after Friday’s 10-2 win. “I like that we made her throw a lot. We did our best when we had our patient hitting.”

Lane wasn’t the only Wolverine who made Ohio State’s pitchers pay with patience at the plate. In the first inning of Saturday’s second game, five Michigan players drew walks. Endicott was rattled, and the Wolverines capitalized.

With the bases loaded, junior shortstop Amy Knapp doubled, batting in three runs and giving Michigan a 4-0 lead after one inning.

The Wolverines knocked in two more runs on five hits in the second game and forced Endicott to throw 153 pitches. She struggled with her release, throwing 61 balls and issuing six walks.

Though Endicott may not have given the Michigan batters the pitches they’d like to have seen, the Wolverines were able to work the count and force her to throw hitter-friendly pitches later in the count.

“Everyone realizes there’s no point swinging at bad pitches,” said sophomore left fielder Nicole Sappingfield. “You need to wait for your pitch and drive it. You can definitely tell when we’re being patient and just hitting balls we’re waiting for. We have 10-plus hits a game when we do that.”

The theme of “one-pitch softball” that the team lives by was evident this weekend through its patience to wait for the right pitch to hit. Each player recorded at least one hit over the three-game series, and seven of the 10 batters knocked one of Michigan’s season-high 16 hits into play in Saturday’s game.

“We have good hitters, one through nine, so that’s something any pitcher’s going to have to face when they’re competing against us,” said senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick. “We’re all good hitters. The bottom of the order wasn’t always the bottom of the order before they came here, it’s just (that) Michigan’s a good program and you’ve got to fill the spots.”

While the Buckeye hurlers were flustered in the circle, Michigan’s pitchers showed patience and poise.

With the Wolverines up 4-0 in the third game of the series, freshman lefty Haylie Wagner hit two straight batters and walked one, only to give up a grand slam to Ohio State’s Evelyn Carrillo to tie the game at four in the first inning.

But Wagner maintained her composure to complete the game, giving up just one more run.

Wagner wasn’t worried about the blown lead and neither were her teammates.

“In practice, our coaches always have us do a drill that ‘We’re down by three, we’re down by five,’ ” Kirkpatrick said. “(We do) that to get us to relax up at-bat and not panic, and it really showed with our team when we get down. Nobody stresses.”

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