Both the No. 13 Michigan softball and baseball teams were eliminated from post-season play this weekend.
The softball team took a one-game lead in their best of three Super Regional by defeating No. 3 Florida State 17-3 Thursday night.
All the Wolverines needed was to win one of the two games slated for Friday to earn a berth in the WCWS.
But junior Seminole pitcher Lacey Waldrop, who allowed eight runs (four earned), six hits and five walks in just two innings of work Thursday, did her best Jeckyll and Hyde imitation by blanking Michigan, 6-0, on five hits in the opener, then scattering 10 hits in the nightcap for her second-straight complete game victory.
Hit ‘em where they are
The Wolverines just couldn’t deliver with runners on base in Friday’s second and deciding game. Michigan stranded five in the last two innings alone and 12 for the game. Florida State (55-7) took full advantage, winning, 4-2, in the bottom of the seventh with a walk-off homer by senior Courtney Senas. In fairness, Florida State made some excellent defensive plays to stifle Michigan opportunities.
Despite the defeat, Michigan completed another fine season by playing in the Super Regional for the ninth time out of 10 years since the round was instituted. Coach Carol Hutchins’ squad finished 2014 with a 47-15 record, won its seventh consecutive (regular season) Big Ten title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive season.
Credit to the Seminoles
“FSU, they got it done, said Coach Hutchins. “Their kids did a great job coming back after the loss yesterday. I give credit to them. They hung tough, very, very tough. (Lacey) Waldrop, she was fantastic today and we wish them all the best.”
On another note, Florida State’s Waldrop and Michigan sophomore shortstop Sierra Romero joined UCLA junior pitcher/utility star Ally Carda as the three finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The winner will be announced May 27.
Waldrop pitched her way to a 38-5 record (1.01 ERA), Romero hit .491 with 18 home runs and 32 RBIs, and Carda hit .388 while posting a 31-4 mark 1.64 .
Baseball eliminated from Big Ten tournament
Despite being knocked out of the Big Ten baseball tournament earlier today (May 24), Michigan has a bright future. The Wolverines finished the regular season winning 10 of their last 13 games, helping them to a fourth-place conference finish.
With post-season wins over Iowa (7-1) and Minnesota (3-2), the Wolverines found themselves in the tournament’s final four, meeting No. 20 Nebraska. Unfortunately they ran into a fine pitching performance by Nebraska’s Kyle Kulat, leading the Cornhuskers to an easy 6-1 victory.
Kulat, who’s record is 5-2 with an ordinary 4.55 ERA , tossed 8.2 innings of three-hit ball.
Michigan, which finished the season 30-29-1, returns four of its top six batters and its top two starting pitchers. ♦
Photo courtesy Michael Barera, wikimedia commons
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff – Joel Greer