Diamond Update

It's another big weekend for both the baseball and softball teams at the University of Michigan. In the middle of the Big 10 tournament, the baseball team is searching for its first Big 10 tournament title since 1999, and the softball team is looking to take the next step in a national title defense with a super-regional victory.

After knocking off the Northwestern Wildcats last night to advance to the final in the loser's bracket of the Big 10 tournament, the Wolverines set their sites on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the fifth time of the year. Michigan swept the Buckeyes in a four games series this year, and this time would be no different.

Zach Putnam, the Wolverines hometown product, pitched into the seventh inning allowing just three hits and one unearned run while the offense scored two unearned runs to capitalize on the Buckeyes defensive miscues.

Ohio State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. An errant throw from the Wolverines shortstop allowed the Buckeyes to take the lead with two outs.

Michigan answered with an unearned run in the bottom half of the fourth, and Adam Abraham put the Wolverines on top for good in the bottom of the sixth. Michigan added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly, and the defense held on in the ninth as the Buckeyes plated one to draw within 3-2 but could never come closer.

In the second game of the afternoon, the Wolverines met the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the second time of the tournament. As the champion of the loser's bracket, it was going to take victories by the Maize and Blue on both Saturday and Sunday to claim the schools first Big 10 tournament crown since 1999.

Michigan jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. However, the lead was short lived as Minnesota plated four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame.

In the top of the fourth, Michigan went back on top 9-4 after plating six runs on six hits. But, like before, the Gophers answered back with four runs of their own.

Michigan would add a single run in both the sixth and eighth innings while Minnesota could just get one more in the ninth. With the win, the Wolverines force a decisive game with the Gophers on Sunday afternoon at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor.

On the women's side, the Wolverines weren't as fortunate. After sweeping through the Ann Arbor regional, the No. 9-seeded Wolverines made their way to Knoxville to continue their run at a back-to-back national title.

As expected in a contest with two dominating pitchers, runs were tough to come by in the opening few frames. It took until the bottom of the fourth inning for either team to score as the Volunteers drew first blood. After notching three singles in the inning, the home team jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Samantha Findlay drew the Maize and Blue within one with a solo home run to leftfield, but it would take until the sixth for the Wolverines to draw even.

Senior Tiffany Haas plated the tying run in the top of the sixth crossing the plate on a throwing error that ended with the ball in deep right field. However, U-M would not capitalize with the go-ahead runner on third with just one out.

In the next half inning, the Volunteers pulled away with three runs on two hits. U-M drew back within two courtesy of a Tiffany Worthy home run in the top of the seventh, but that was all the Wolverines would get in the 5-3 defeat.

With the loss, the Wolverines find themselves in a one-game hole in the three game series. Game two between the Volunteers and Wolverines from Knoxville will take place on ESPN at 1:00 Sunday afternoon with game three immediately following if necessary.

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