CLERMONT, Fla. - The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team opened the 2017 season with a pair of wins Sunday in Clermont, Fla., topping Point Park University 6-2 and edging NCAA Division II Tiffin University 3-2 in eight innings.
The Wolverines (2-0) rallied from early deficits in both games, the first for new head coach Vince Alessandrini.
In the first game, Point Park took an early 2-0 lead before the Wolverine bats got going. Amy Jarrett (FR/Howell, MI) got the first hit of her college career to drive in the first UM-Dearborn run in the third inning to make it 2-1. Olivia Cottom (FR/Holt, MI) doubled later in the inning to drive in a pair to put the Wolverines up 3-2.
UM-Dearborn all-time hits leader Taylor Moceri (SR/Sterling Heights, MI) got her senior season started strong, driving in Kara Hart (FR/Macomb, MI) with a double in the fourth. UM-Dearborn put the game away with a two-run home run from Ellie Kauten (JR/Shelby Township, MI) in the sixth.
Gina Verduzco (JR/Portage, MI) picked up the win, going 4.1 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits, while striking out four. Alexandra Elwell (SR/Kalamazoo, MI) entered the game in the fifth, pitching the rest of the way, allowing just one hit. Moceri and Jarrett each finished with two hits in the win.
In game two against Tiffin, the Dragons held a 1-0 lead on a solo home run until the Wolverines broke through in the fifth. Jordan Ewald (JR/Wixom, MI) drove in the first run for UM-Dearborn, while Verduzco singled to center field to put the Wolverines up 2-1. Tiffin tied the score in the sixth and the game went into extra innings.
Hart entered the game at second base to start the Wolverine half of the eighth, scoring after a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch to send UM-Dearborn to the walk-off win.
The win against Tiffin went to freshman Samantha Torongeau (FR/Shelby Township, MI), who entered the game in relief of Elwell with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Torongeau got out of that jam and after Tiffin tied it in the sixth, she shut down the Dragons the next two innings. Moceri added two more hits in game two.
The Wolverines play three games, starting with Saint Thomas University at 9 a.m. Monday in Clermont, Fla.