GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team earned a much-needed split as senior Jordan Ewald (SR/Wixom, MI) made program history for the Wolverines with two home runs in a game-two win over Cornerstone University Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ewald entered game two in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter with the Wolverines down three. She hit a solo home run to break the UM-Dearborn career home run record with her 20th as a Wolverine, passing Jessie Theume. With UM-Dearborn down 5-4 in the seventh, Ewald came through again with her second long ball of the game, a two-run shot to put the Wolverines in front for a 6-5 win.
Down 3-0 in the seventh inning of the opener, the Wolverines scored four in the frame, including a two-run home run from Meaghan Markus (FR/Mattawan, MI), to take a 4-3 lead. The Golden Eagles answered with two in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a 5-4 win.
The split moves UM-Dearborn to 17-15 overall and 9-9 in the WHAC. The Wolverines clinched a spot in the WHAC Postseason Tournament set to start Wednesday at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania, Ohio. UM-Dearborn can finish with either the sixth or seventh seed in the tournament, depending on its results on Sunday.
In the opener, Cornerstone scored once in the second, third and fifth innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Wolverine rally in the seventh started with the Markus two-run home run, her second of the season, scoring Rachel Dolland (JR/Lake Orion, MI).
UM-Dearborn tied the game on a double from Rachel Clem (JR/Stevensville, MI) with two outs to score Megan Lohner (FR/Kalamazoo, MI). Kayla Laquiere (SO/Shelby Twp., MI) put the Wolverines ahead for the first time with a two-out RBI single, scoring Clem. Cornerstone got a two-run single in the bottom of the inning to take the opener.
Gina Verduzco (SR/Portage, MI) was charged with the loss, going 6.1 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, while striking out four.
In the finale, starting pitcher Samantha Torongeau (SO/Shelby Township, MI) helped her cause with a two-run single in the third inning to put the Wolverines up early. Cornerstone scored five unanswered runs and led 5-2 heading to the sixth.
Ewald got the rally started with her record-breaking home run, a solo blast to right field. Markus cut the Golden Eagles lead to one with an RBI double later in the inning. Ewald's game-winning home run in the seventh drove in Verduzco with one out.
Verduzco (12-5) took over on the mound in the fifth and earned the win, pitching three innings, allowing one run on one hit, while striking out two.
The Wolverines conclude the 2018 regular season against Concordia University on Senior Day at 4:30 pm Sunday at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Mich.