SYLVANIA, Ohio - The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team battled to keep its season alive on the second day of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament Friday in Sylvania, Ohio.
After topping No. 3 seed Siena Heights University 3-1 and No. 8 seed Concordia University 1-0, the No. 7 seed Wolverines dropped their third elimination game of the day, falling to No. 5 seed Lawrence Tech 3-2 in a game that went well past midnight at Pacesetter Park.
The Wolverines finished the tournament in fourth place and ended their season with a record of 20-18.
Senior Gina Verduzco (SR/Portage, MI) finished her remarkable career with two wins, the first coming against SHU. She pitched a complete game, allowing one run on four hits, while walking two and striking out eight in seven innings.
With a 40-plus mile per hour wind in her face, senior Jordan Ewald (SR/Wixom, MI) hit the 22nd home run of her remarkable career. The two-run shot put UM-Dearborn up 3-0 in the sixth.
In the second game of the day, the Wolverines got another brilliant performance on the mound from Verduzco (15-6), as she recorded the seventh shutout of her career. She went all seven innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out 10.
Freshman Meaghan Markus (FR/Mattawan, MI) continued her strong first season with UM-Dearborn, hitting a solo home run in the fifth to give the Wolverines all of the offense they would need.
After falling behind 3-0 to Lawrence Tech, UM-Dearborn battled back with an RBI sacrifice fly from Kayla Laquiere (SO/Shelby Twp., MI) in the fourth and an RBI double from senior Ellie Kauten (SR/Shelby Township, MI). Markus scored both runs for the Wolverines, but UM-Dearborn could not find the equalizer.
After Samantha Torongeau (SO/Shelby Township, MI) got the start and pitched strong into the fifth inning against LTU, Verduzco came in for her third appearance of the day. She finished with four strikeouts, giving her 145 in 2018 and setting a new UM-Dearborn single-season record.
The game against LTU was the last for seniors Verduzco, Ewald, Kauten and Riley Miller (SR/Birmingham, MI), the winningest class in UM-Dearborn softball history with 107 victories over the last four seasons.