Michigan softball wins pair of high-scoring games and more Sunday results
Illinois scored 13 runs during a softball doubleheader against Michigan on Sunday, the same number of runs the Wolverines had allowed in their last nine games combined.
But the Fighting Illini’s offensive success wasn’t enough to earn a win over the Big Ten leaders and No. 2-ranked team in the nation. Michigan took big early leads in both games before hanging on for 8-6 and 9-7 wins at Eichelberger Field in Urbana, Ill.
"We had some hitters step up and do some really big things against this tremendous pitching staff," Illinois coach Terri Sullivan told FightingIllini.com. "I think that speaks well for our offense. However, we need to give Michigan all the credit because, in the end, they hung in there."
Nicole Sappingfield and Ashley Lane had RBI singles in a four-run second inning that gave Michigan a 5-1 lead in the opener. The Wolverines led 8-2 before Illinois rallied for four runs in the sixth off winning pitcher Jordan Taylor (20-3).
Sappingfield (2 runs), Lane (home run, 3 RBIs) and Amanda Chidester (home run) each had two hits in the opener for Michigan. (Boxscore)
Neither starting pitcher fared well in the second game. Michigan (39-3, 7-1) scored five runs in the first inning -- including a three-run home run by Alycia Ryan -- and two more in the second against Illini starter Pepper Gay.
Michigan’s Stephanie Speierman allowed two runs on two hits and a walk and recorded just one out before coach Carol Hutchins replaced her with Hillary Payne.
Taylor was called on to record the save after the Illinois (19-17, 6-4) cut into Michigan’s 9-4 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.
Sappingfield, Lane, Ryan and Bree Evans had two hits apiece in the second game. (Boxscore)
Danielle Zymkowitz went 5-for-7 and scored three runs for Illinois during the doubleheader.
MORE SOFTBALL Miami (Ohio) 5, Eastern Michigan 3: The visiting Red Hawks pounced on Eastern starter Lauren Wells for four runs (three earned) in the second inning of the MAC matchup. Leadoff hitter Nellie Coquillard had three of Eastern’s six hits, including a third inning home run. (Details)
BASEBALL Eastern Michigan 11, Akron 4: After trailing 4-1 in the second inning, Eastern scored 10 unanswered runs at Oestrike Stadium to avoid a MAC weekend sweep. Ben Magsig (4-for-6) and Sam Ott (2-for-4) each hit home runs and drove in four runs. (Details)
WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS NCAA Individual Event Finals: Kylee Botterman capped her Michigan career with a runner-up finish on floor exercise, seventh-place finish on the beam and ninth-place finish on vault at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. The Wolverines’ Trish Wilson and Brittnee Martinez tied for sixth place on the uneven bars and Katie Zurales finished in 13th on vault. (Details)
MEN’S TRACK Ohio State 109, Michigan 94: Ohio State won 11 of 19 events to capture “The Dual,” held at Ferry Field for the first time since the rivalry was renewed in 2008. Michigan’s Matthew Campbell (100, 200) and Ohio State’s Mike Hartfield (long jump, triple jump) were double winners. (Details)
WOMEN’S TENNIS Michigan 7, Iowa 0: The No. 10-ranked Wolverines improved to 9-0 in Big Ten play with a shutou win at Iowa City. (Details)
MEN’S TENNIS Michigan 5, Iowa 2: Seniors Jason Jung (No. 2) and Chris Madden (No. 5) were among the singles match winners in their final home match of their careers. (Details)
MEN’S GOLF Illini Spring Classic: Michigan sophomore Jack Schultz shot a 68 Sunday, moving him into seventh place and helping the Wolverines finish 10th at the 14-team event in Champaign, Ill. (Details)
Hawkeye-TaylorMade Invitational: Eastern Michigan freshman Brian Churchill-Smith had his fourth top-20 finish of the season and the Eagles finished 10th in the 11-team field in Iowa City (Details)
WOMEN’S WATER POLO Michigan 17, Pomona-Pitzer 3; Michigan 18, Fresno Pacific 6: Five different Michigan players had hat tricks during the two-game sweep in Claremont, Calif., and the Wolverines reached the 30-win plateau for the fourth straight season. (Details)