Fourth-ranked Wolverines use five-run first to down Softball
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Grace Leutele's three-run home run capped a five-run first inning that separated the fourth-ranked Michigan softball team from fifth-ranked Texas and set the Wolverines up for a 7-0 victory over the Longhorns in the semifinal of the championship bracket at the Kia Klassic on Sunday morning.
Michigan (26-1) pushed its winning streak to 26 games and snapped Texas' (23-4) nine-game winning streak.
Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) went 2-for-3 on the day, collecting two of the Longhorns' three hits on the day.
Amy Bradford (Lufkin, Texas) (7-1) suffered her first loss of the season, going 0.1 innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on four hits. Meagan Denny (Crowley, Texas) entered in relief, going 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one. UT committed three errors in the game, leading to three unearned Michigan runs.
Lorilyn Wilson (11-0) earned the win for the Wolverines, throwing the complete game and allowing three hits while striking out seven.
Michigan's Tiffany Haas led off the first with a single, and then the Wolverines benefited from the first Texas error of the day when the fielding attempt on the sacrifice bunt was botched putting runners on first and second. Two batters later, Samantha Findley had a single through the left side to score both runners, then Nicole Motycka doubled to center and both came home on Leutele's home run to right center. Denny entered and got the next two outs, but allowed a lead-off single in the top of the second and saw the Michelle Teschler score on Alessandrea Giampaolo's single to left two batters later.
Michigan added one more run in the fourth inning when Stephanie Bercaw led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch then came home on Giampaolo's single.
Texas got its first two hits of the day in the fifth inning when Boutelle and Amber Hall (Deer Park, Texas) had back-to-back singles to open the inning. However, Wilson forced the next three outs to end the inning.
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, March 23, when they host North Texas in a 5 p.m. doubleheader at McCombs Field.