Michigan's Hopes Of An NCAA Bid Delayed Until Monday
May 24, 2004
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After a comeback 3-2 victory against Oregon State Saturday night, the Michigan Wolverines will have to do the same Monday as NCAA Regional Championship game between the two teams was suspended due to rain on Sunday.
After No. 3 seed Oregon State defeated No. 7 seed Illinois-Chicago 6-5 in the losers bracket final, which included a rain delay of an hour and 24 minutes, the Beavers beat top seed Michigan 1-0 on a walk-off home run in the first championship game. OSU then took a 1-0 lead in the second championship game on a solo home run in the first inning before lightning and rain forced officials to suspend the game. It is scheduled to resume Monday at 11 a.m.
With the No. 6-ranked Wolverines (53-11) undefeated coming out of the winners bracket, they needed just one victory Sunday to claim the regional championship. But after six and a half scoreless innings, OSU's Vanessa Iapala drilled a two-out solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to give the Beavers the win and create a final-game showdown between the two teams.
In the first game of the afternoon, Michigan sophomore Jennie Ritter handled Oregon State (44-27) throughout the first 6.2 innings, allowing only one hit and striking out 10 without a walk before Iapala's game-ending blast. Lisa Allen's one-out single in the second inning was Oregon State's lone hit until the seventh, as Ritter retired 16 straight batters after Allen's hit, including eight via strikeout.
Illinois Eliminated by No. 3 LSU, 4-1
WACO, Texas - Top-seeded and third-ranked LSU used 13 hits to defeat Illinois 4-1 in the Sweet Sixteen, eliminating the Illini from NCAA Regional competition.
LSU broke through in the second inning with Julie Wiese‼sup>TMs home run that gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
LSU ace Kristen Schmidt retired the Illini in order in the second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, racking up eight of her nine strikeouts in the process. She also struck out the side in the second and seventh innings. Schmidt held the Illini to three hits - singles by LeeAnn Butcher, Lindsey Hamma and Sarah Baumgartner.
The Tigers tacked on runs in the third and fifth innings to increase their lead to 3-0, and then tacked on the fourth and final run in the bottom of the sixth.
Amanda Fortune, who threw for 31 of Illinois' 35 NCAA inning, allowed two runs on seven hits in three innings against the Tigers, a departure from her early-season success against LSU in which she allowed only one run on six hits in two appearances at the LSU Tiger Classic. Fortune finishes the season 31-11, setting multiple school records, including the mark for wins in a season.
Fortune and teammates LeeAnn Butcher and Erin Jones were all named to the All-Regional team.