The No. 2 Michigan softball team entered Saturday’s contest against Minnesota looking to extend its six-game winning streak and stay atop the Big Ten.
And despite having to come back after a 2-0 deficit, the Wolverines’ 4-2 win over the Golden Gophers puts the squad even closer to top honors in the conference.
After falling behind early, Michigan (15-2 Big Ten, 48-4 overall) needed to come together to power through the obstacle that was Minnesota ace Sara Moulton.
Top hitters like sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane and junior center fielder Bree Evans were struggling against the freshman pitcher. So, who better to lead the team than senior first baseman and captain Dorian Shaw?
Down 2-0, the Wolverines fought back in the fourth to put a tally mark on the board, but left the bases loaded as Moulton ended the inning with two big outs.
Shaw, who hasn’t been at her best at the plate over the past few weeks, earned her chance to step up for the Wolverines in the fifth. After freshman left fielder Nicole Sappingfield hit a single down the right side to send freshman right fielder Lindsay Doyle home for the tying run, Shaw stepped up to the plate and hit a rocket out to the center-field wall for a double, allowing Sappingfield to show off her speed and slide into home for what would be the game-winning run.
A fielding error two batters later allowed Shaw to score, giving senior pitcher Jordan Taylor a two-run cushion for the next two innings.
Minnesota (8-9, 30-22) threatened to come back in the top of the seventh after putting runners on first and second, but Taylor and Lane stayed consistent in their defense to put the outs away before any Golden Gophers reached home.
Michigan is currently still tied with Indiana for No. 1 in the Big Ten, after the Hoosiers edged out the Wildcats 1-0 on Saturday night. The Wolverines will play the second game of their home series against the Golden Gophers on Sunday afternoon.