Updated: Apr 29
Eric Welch, Staff Writer
Kenna Millhorn winds up to deliver a strike. Photo//UM-D Athletics.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn women’s softball team (11-10, 1-3 WHAC) traveled to Ann Arbor on Sunday (Apr. 2) for an afternoon doubleheader with the Concordia Cardinals (23-11, 3-3 WHAC). Both teams battled to split the day; the Cardinals won the first game 3-2 in 12 innings, and the Wolverines took the second game, also by a 3-2 score.
The Wolverines have struggled on the diamond the past couple of weeks, while having games against conference rivals Cleary and Indiana Tech postponed due to inclement weather. The game one loss to Concordia was Dearborn’s sixth consecutive loss.
UM-Dearborn started the contest off with a bang when senior first baseman Makenna Millhorn hit her third homer of the season in the top of the first inning, giving UM-D the 1-0 lead. The lead was short lived, however, as the Cardinals came right back and tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by Katie Tobias, scoring Koryn Playford.
In the top of the seventh, the Wolverines took the lead back when freshman Katrina Caldwell stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Cardinal catcher, giving the Wolverines the 2-1 lead. Concordia quickly responded, tying it right away with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh.
The game stayed tied 2-2 until the bottom of the 12th inning, when a single by Mady Grueter scored Jada Stephenso for the 3-2 Cardinal victory.
Senior right hander Lanie Ellinger (3-4) took the loss for the Wolverines. In a Herculean effort, Ellinger faced 52 batters in 11.1 innings, allowing 11 hits, three runs, three walks, and eight strikeouts.
The Wolverines were preseason favorites to win the WHAC this year after their championship run in 2022, but still sought their first conference win of the season heading into game two of the doubleheader.
The Cardinals got on the board quickly to start the game when Tobias scored on a throwing error by freshman catcher Emily McCalla on an errant throw to try and catch her stealing third base, giving Concordia the 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth with two runners on, Paige Maltby was able to reach base on a throwing error that scored the two runners, giving the Wolverines the 2-1 lead.
The Wolverines added an insurance run in the top of the fifth when second baseman Shae Scott scored on a Millhorn double.
The Cardinals made things interesting in the bottom of the fifth when they scored an unearned run to close the gap to 3-2, but that was as close as they would get.
Senior right hander Sydni Uhlenberg entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Hannah Koch. Uhlenberg, second in the conference last year in ERA (2.11), once again showed her dominance over WHAC hitters, striking out two and giving up zero runs for her second save of the season.
Koch had a strong outing, earning her second win of the year (2-3). In four innings of work, she allowed six hits, two runs, one earned run, zero walks, and two strikeouts.
Next up, UM-Dearborn hosts Indiana Tech in a double header on Monday at Madonna University in Livonia. The doubleheader is a makeup after Saturday’s contests were postponed due to weather. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 P.M.