While it was snowing in Ann Arbor, the Michigan softball team was staying hot in Florida, both on and off the field. Led by dominant pitching performances from junior Jennie Ritter, senior Nicole Motycka and sophomore Lorilyn Wilson, the Wolverines gave up just four runs in five games over the weekend, winning the Florida Atlantic Classic.
In the championship game of the tournament, Michigan matched up against Florida Atlantic for the second time during the weekend. In the first matchup, the Wolverines prevailed 12-3.
In the second game, Michigan jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first after senior Jessica Merchant tripled, scoring junior Tiffany Haas. Merchant scored on a wild pitch, and, three batters later, junior Grace Leutele doubled to center field to drive in the third Michigan run.
The third inning was big for the Wolverines both offensively and defensively. Starting pitcher Lorilyn Wilson struck out the side, and Michigan took advantage of a fielding error by scoring two runs, which increased its lead to five. It followed its two-run third inning with a four-run fourth, thanks to a 3-run homer by junior Becky Marx.
Wilson gave up just one earned run against Florida Atlantic on Sunday, which came in the fourth on a sac fly.
The Wolverines continued their offensive surge over the weekend, scoring 35 runs on 48 hits in five games. Freshman Samantha Findlay connected on her third home run of the season against Rutgers, which was one of 13 hits amassed by the team. Hass continued her hot steak at the plate, batting .500 (8-for-16) during the five-game stretch.
But the most impressive part of the Wolverines performance was the pitching from Michigan’s big three — Motycka, Wilson and Ritter. Ritter finished with two complete games, going 13 innings, striking out 21 and giving up just three earned runs. Wilson and Motycka combined for a no-hitter against Rutgers, going five innings with five strikeouts. With the no-hitter, Wilson ended the tournament pitching 14.2 innings, striking out 21 batters and giving up one lone earned run. The sophomore was named tournament MVP.