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WCWS: Michigan Defeats Arizona, 6-1

OKLAHOMA CITY – Michigan pounded out eight hits, including five from the eight- and nine-hole hitters in the lineup, en route to a 6-1 defeat of fourth-seeded Alabama on Thursday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. 

With the win, Michigan (47-10) advances to face the winner of the upcoming Florida-Arizona game on Friday evening at approximately 8 pm CDT. Alabama (52-10) falls to the losers bracket and will play the loser of that same UF-UA game on Saturday at approximately 1 pm CDT. 

Michigan opened early with the offense, taking advantage of two walks and a hit-by-pitch in the top half of the second inning. After Nikki Nemitz drew a two-out walk from Alabama starting pitcher Kelsi Dunne, Dorian Shaw was hit by a pitch and a Steph Kirkpatrick single loaded the bases for an RBI walk from Teddi Eewing to make the score 1-0. 

The Wolverines added single runs again in the third and fourth innings. In the third, it was a solo home run by Amanda Chidester, and in the fourth it was on an RBI single from Kirkpatrick. 

In the sixth, Michigan plated a trio of runs, batting around in the inning. Alabama answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ashley Holcombe placed a one-out single into left field and advanced to second on a walk by Kellie Eubanks. Each runner advanced two bases, scoring Holcombe, on a two-out double off the centerfield fence from left fielder Whitney Larsen. 

Michigan’s Steph Kirkpatrick and Teddi Ewing led the way for the Wolverine offense. Kirkpatrick went 2-for-3 in the game with a run scored, while Ewing was 3- for-3 with two RBI. 

Winning pitcher Nikki Nemitz improves to 28-5 on the season. She struck out five and walked two, allowing three hits and an earned run in the game. Kelsi Dunne took the loss for the Crimson Tide, striking out four and walking six.