April 16, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 1 Michigan Wolverines topped the Boilermaker softball team 6-2 on Saturday despite a valiant offensive effort by Purdue. The Boilermakers put up two runs on seven hits, including multi-hit efforts by Staci Falzon and DaQueta Johnson. The team returns to action at noon on Sunday in a doubleheader against Northwestern.
The Boilermakers equaled their Friday hit total in the opening stanza against Michigan. Junior Staci Falzon (Carlsbad, Calif.) singled to third base with one out, then junior Tricia Lilley (North Canton, Ohio) singled up the middle to give Purdue two on with two outs. Sophomore DaQueta Johnson (Ontario, Calif.) singled to center, scoring Falzon and moving Lilley to third. Johnson moved to second on the throw home, but pinch runner Jamie Dum (Indianapolis, Ind.) was left stranded by a caught foul ball.
The Wolverines tied the game on their first swing of the bat as Tiffany Haas hit a solo home run to left on the first pitch she saw. Alessandra Giampaolo then reached on a single to left center. A sacrifice and a ground ball moved her to third. A Nicole Motycka double to center drove in the run to give UM the lead. A fly ball to right got Purdue out of the inning.
Michigan added another run on two hits and an error in the second. Michelle Teschler drew a one-out walk, but left early trying to steal second for the inning's second out. Rebekah Milian then singled to left and advanced to second on a fielding error by the left fielder. The hit prompted a Boilermaker pitching change as freshman Melissa Burns (Miami, Fla.) entered the game in relief. A double by Haas then drove in Milian from second to make it 3-1 before a fly ball ended the inning.
Purdue threatened in the third, loading the bases, but could not manage a run. Falzon reached on a one-out fielding error by the second baseman, then moved to second on a passed ball. Senior Andrea Hillsey
(White Lake, Mich.) then singled into short left field, advancing Falzon to third. Jennie Ritter then entered the game to pitch for UM, replacing starter Lorilyn Wilson. Hillsey then stole second. A controversial strikeout brought Johnson to the plate. The Wolverines intentionally walked her, loading the bases. Another strikeout, however, left all three runners stranded.
UM put two on in the third but to no avail. Motycka hit a two-out double off the center field wall, then Grace Leutele reached via intentional walk. A swinging strikeout ended the stanza.
Sophomore Catherine Zaworski (Prospect Heights, Ill.) walked to kick off the fourth. She moved to second a sacrifice by junior Becky Stone (Belleville, Ill.). A ground ball advanced her to third, but a ground out left her stranded.
The Wolverines got two bases runners in the fourth, but could not score. Milian walked, then moved to second on a ground ball to first base. She was joined on base by Giampaolo who also walked. Sophomore Brooke Baker (Schererville, Ind.) took over on the mound for the Boilermakers and forced a fielder's choice on the first pitch to end the inning.
The Boilermakers got one run back in the top of the fifth with another RBI single by Johnson. Falzon doubled to center to start the inning, then moved to third on a sacrifice by Hillsey. Johnson then sent the two-out hit up the middle to drive in the run.
Michigan used a pinch hit single by Lauren Holland to drive in another run in the fifth. Samantha Findlay singled to start the inning, but was caught stealing moments later. Motycka then singled through the left side, before being joined on base by Leutele who reached on a fielder's choice. Teschler then drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Holland. Holland's single scored Motycka, but Leutele was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second.
A two-out, two-run home run by Findlay in the sixth upped the Wolverine lead to 6-2. Haas reached on a fielding error by the shortstop, then moved to second on a sacrifice, before Findlay's two-out hit over the left center wall. Motycka followed with a walk, but a ground ball got the Boilermakers out of the inning.
Purdue had one last chance to upset the No. 1 Michigan squad as the top of the order came to bat in the seventh. Messer laid down a bunt single to start things off, but a fly ball to left and two strikeouts left her stranded and sealed the Michigan win.
"I thought it was a great game," head coach Carol Bruggeman said. "We battled throughout; they just had a few more two-out hits than we did."
Falzon and Johnson each posted two hits in the contest for Purdue, which scored two runs on six hits. Michigan scored six runs on 10 hits and two errors.
Jennie Ritter (19-0) earned the win, striking out seven in four innings of relief. LaRiva (9-3) was charged with the loss after throwing 1.2 innings.
The Boilermakers (28-15, 5-3 Big Ten) return to action at noon on Sunday when Northwestern (28-9, 10-0 Big Ten) comes to town for a doubleheader.