ROSEMONT, Ill. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team concluded play at the NAIA Leadoff Tournament with four games over the last two days at The Dome in Rosemont, Ill.
The Wolverines split four games to close the event, defeating the University of Saint Francis (IN) and Goshen College, while falling to Roosevelt University and Judson University. UM-Dearborn returns home with a record of 2-4 to open 2020.
In the first game Friday against Saint Francis, the Wolverines took advantage of eight errors by the Cougars, claiming control of the contest with six runs in the sixth and closing out the 13-7 win for the team's first victory of the season.
USF took an early lead with two runs in the first, but UM-Dearborn responded in the second with three, including RBIs from Holly Kimes and Marisa Vermiglio. The Wolverines added to their lead with a two-run single from Vermiglio in the fourth. Madelin Skene, Makenna Millhorn, Olivia Cottom and Liz Grumeretz all had an RBI in a sixth inning filled with errors by USF.
The Cougars scored once in the seventh and had the bases loaded with no outs, but the Wolverines came through with a 1-2-3 double play to end the rally and hold on for the win.
Vermiglio finished with three hits and three RBIs, while Amber Cheplick and Kimes each added two hits. Millhorn recorded two RBIs including one on a double in the seventh.
Skene (1-0) got the win on the mound, allowing six runs, two earned on 11 hits, while striking out three and walking one.
In the second game of the day, the UM-Dearborn offense was unable to get going against Roosevelt as the host Lakers scored four in the first and four in the second to top the Wolverines 8-0 in five innings. UM-Dearborn was held to three hits, including a double from Skene.
Henderson (0-1) took the loss on the mound, allowing eight runs on six hits in 1.1 innings.
The Wolverines opened the final day in Rosemont against Judson University, falling to the Eagles 8-5. After Judson took a three-run lead in the top of the first, UM-Dearborn answered with three in the bottom of the inning, including a two-run double from Millhorn and an RBI single from Caitlyn Mauser.
Judson reclaimed the lead 4-3 in the top of the fourth, but the Wolverines answered with one of their own in the bottom as Alyssa Agosta came through with an RBI walk. The Eagles scored four unanswered and held off a UM-Dearborn rally in the seventh, despite an RBI single from Cheplick.
Vermiglio, Cheplick, and Millhorn each finished with two hits. Erin McCune (0-3) took the loss, allowing six runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings.
In the tournament finale, the Wolverines held an 8-2 lead into the seventh, but Goshen College rallied to tie the score and set up UM-Dearborn for a game-winning, walk-off RBI single from Gina Liss in the bottom of the inning for a 9-8 win.
After Goshen led 2-1 lead in the top of the second, UM-Dearborn scored the next seven runs of the game starting with a two-run double for Aspen Starr in the bottom of the second. Kayla Laquiere added a sacrifice fly RBI in the fourth, followed by an RBI double from Haley Tiseo.
Amber Cheplick continued her strong start to the season with a two-run triple in the fifth, while Erin McCune and Skene added RBIs in the sixth. The Wolverines failed to hold the lead in the seventh, but Liss drove home Audrey Asgarally with a line-drive single to left field for the win.
Tiseo led the Wolverine offense with three hits, while Starr added two doubles. Cheplick and Millhorn each recorded two hits. Skene started the game for the Wolverines, allowing five runs, three earned on four hits, while walking four and striking out four. Samantha Torongeau (1-0) picked up the win in relief.
The Wolverines are in action next with 21 games at THE Spring Games Feb. 29-March 11 in Kissimmee, Fla.