Michigan ace Jordan Taylor didn’t let her undisclosed injury keep her away from the mound long. And in the Wolverines’ 9-1 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday, she looked like her usual, dominant self.
Taylor completely quieted the Badgers’ offense in a complete game, three-hit performance in an afternoon that surely boosted Michigan’s confidence with its No. 1 pitcher back in true form.
But the Wolverine offense — relatively unsuccessful as of late — racked up plenty of support to make it smooth sailing for Taylor, who was hurt at practice on April 14.
In fact, the Michigan lineup had earned Taylor a lead before she even threw a pitch. In the top of the first, back-to-back RBI-singles by junior third baseman Amanda Chidester and sophomore infielder Ashley Lane gave the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage.
Senior outfielder Alycia Ryan continued her hot hitting with a three-run triple in the fourth inning en route to seven total runs scored in the frame by Michigan. With Taylor back on the hill and cruising through the Badger order, Michigan coach Carol Hutchins was probably left hoping her team could save some of the offensive production for Sunday’s series finale.
Taylor’s return will undoubtedly provide newfound confidence for the Wolverines, in hot pursuit of Indiana for the Big Ten lead. She is widely respected among hitters in the conference and runs are hard to come by against her — Taylor boasted a 1.49 ERA going into Saturday’s game.
With Ryan still seeing the ball better than ever, senior All-American first baseman Dorian Shaw was slotted seventh in the lineup for the second consecutive weekend. Shaw vacated her typical three spot for the scrappy Ryan who relentlessly fights to remain in the order each game. Ryan picked up two hits and three RBI, while Shaw was 0-for-1 with a pair of walks.
On Sunday, Michigan will attempt to make it three straight when they battle Wisconsin for the last time this season. The Wolverines will return to Ann Arbor for a game against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday and a doubleheader with Ohio State on Wednesday at Alumni Field.