May 23, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A 2-1 Notre Dame lead over No. 2 Michigan lasted less than an inning as the Wolverines rattled off 11 unanswered runs to end the 2010 softball campaign for the Irish with a 12-2 defeat on the final day of the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at Alumni Field. The top-seeded Wolverines used three home runs – including two from Maggie Viefhaus – and scored at least one run in each of the final five innings after being blanked in the second Sunday to advance to the NCAA Super Regional against 15th-seeded Tennessee.
To advance deeper into the NCAA Tournament, No. 24 Notre Dame needed to win two in a row against the Wolverines (49-6), a squad that has not dropped two straight since back-to-back defeats to Florida and Georgia in last year’s Women’s College World Series. The Wolverines eliminated the second-seeded Irish (47-12) for a second straight year and the fourth time in 15 NCAA Tournament appearances for the program.
The BIG EAST regular season champions wrap up the season with 47 wins and 12 defeats, the fewest losses in the nine-year Deanna Gumpf era. In fact, only Liz Miller’s 2001 team (54-7) had fewer losses in the 22-year history of the program. Notre Dame also set single-season records for batting average (.343), runs (369), doubles (103), home runs (75), RBI (337), total bases (878), slugging pct. (.590), on-base pct. (.409) and fielding pct. (.978).
Wolverine ace Jordan Taylor (26-3), who had 11 strikeouts against the Irish on Saturday, fanned 11 more in the finale while scattering seven hits and two earned runs.
The Irish pitching staff could not get much going, as Jody Valdivia (38-7) gave up three earned runs on three hits in the opening 2.0 innings. Valdivia combined with Brittany O’Donnell and Jackie Bowe to walk nine batters and Dorian Shaw was hit by a pitch. Michigan left nine runners on base.
O’Donnell struck out four in 2.2 innings and Bowe gave up four hits with a strikeout in 2.1 frames.
Viefhaus swatted a two-out solo home run in the first and Heather Johnson answered with a solo bomb in the bottom half to knot the score at 1-1.
Buntin and Miller both had two hits for the Irish.
Behind by one, Viefhaus’ second trip to the plate yielded three more runs in the third to put Michigan back on top, 4-2. Viefhaus landed a second home run next to her first-inning bomb in right.
Amanda Chidester drove in two scores with a bases-loaded single to center as Michigan bulked its lead to 7-2 in the fourth.
The scoring column was finalized for Michigan in the seventh with Roya St. Clair’s three-run homer to right.
St. Clair was 3-for-4 with four RBI. Viefhaus also had four RBI on two hits and scored four times.