CLERMONT, Fla. - The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team rebounded from a loss to take down the nation's second ranked team in convincing fashion as a part of three games played Friday in Clermont, Fla.
The Wolverines struck early and kept the scoring rolling in a 16-1 win in five innings over No. 2 Saint Xavier University, last season's national runner up, in the finale of a tripleheader for UM-Dearborn. The Wolverines opened the day with a 7-2 win over Nyack College on the strength of a strong pitching performance from Alexandra Elwell (SR/Kalamazoo, MI). Cleary University topped UM-Dearborn 16-2 in six innings in the middle game.
With one game left on the Florida schedule, the Wolverines are 10-4 overall.
Against Saint Xavier, UM-Dearborn scored two in the first inning with Sarah Prashad (SO/Mississauga, Ontario) and Ellie Kauten (JR/Shelby Township, MI) each coming away with an RBI single. After the Cougars got on the board with one in the bottom half of the inning, the Wolverines rolled with 14 unanswered runs.
UM-Dearborn pulled away with a three-run home run from Kassidy Butler (SO/Parchment, MI), her second of the season. Rachel Clem (SO/Stevensville, MI) singled home a run to make it 6-1 in favor of the Wolverines in the second. The third inning was highlighted by three straight RBI doubles from Kylie Hill (SR/Adrian, MI), Bulter and Gina Verduzco (JR/Portage, MI). The Wolverines did the rest of their damage in the fourth, scoring seven times, including a three-run home run from Verduzco, her first of the season.
The Wolverines finished one hit shy of tying the team record with 20 against SXU, while committing no errors. Taylor Moceri (SR/Sterling Heights, MI) and Hill each scored four runs, while Moceri, Butler, Verduzco, Ellie Kauten and Clem each recorded three hits. Butler finished with three runs and five RBIs, while Verduzco totaled four RBIs.
Verduzco got the start, tossing all five innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out five for her third win of the season.
In the opener versus Nyack, Elwell shined, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning. She finished the game throwing all seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits and struck out nine batters to earn her third win of the season (3-1).
UM-Dearborn jumped ahead of the Warriors early with RBI singles from Riley Hison (SO/Macomb Township, MI) and Moceri in the second inning, while Kauten added an RBI hit in the third inning. Hison helped the Wolverines pull away with an RBI double later in the third. Hison recorded her fourth RBI in the seventh with her third hit of the game. Moceri finished with two hits and two RBIs, while Prashad scored a team-high three runs.
In the loss to Cleary, Maria Dunn (FR/Taylor, MI) put the Wolverines up 2-0 in the first inning, driving in two with a single for the first hit of her career. The Cougars scored 16 unanswered to close the game in six innings.
The Wolverines take on Saint Xavier for a second time to close the trip to Florida at 9 a.m. Saturday in Clermont, Fla.