Wolverines Explode for 10-Run Fourth Inning to Top Owls
Ashley Lane

Feb. 9, 2013

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Site: Tampa, Fla. (USF Softball Stadium)
Event: USF Tournament
Scores: #15 Michigan 10, Florida Atlantic 2 (five innings)
Records: U-M (2-0), Florida Atlantic (0-3)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 10 -- vs. USF - USF Tournament (Tampa, Fla.), 4 p.m.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan softball team piled up 10 runs in the fourth inning against Florida Atlantic in a 10-2 victory today (Saturday, Feb. 9) at the USF Tournament held at the USF Softball Stadium. Overshadowed by the offensive assault was a combined one-hitter tossed by three U-M pitchers in five innings.

Michigan's offense was quiet in the first three innings, collecting just three hits. But the offensive fireworks began in the fourth. The Wolverines loaded the bases on three base hits -- from junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield), junior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) and senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore). Freshman Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) stepped in as a pinch hitter to make her collegiate debut and delivered with a run batted in on a single to put Michigan on top, 1-0.

Florida Atlantic walked junior leadoff hitter Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) to force in the game's second run. With the bases still loaded, junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) roped a line-drive single into center to score Michigan's third run.

Freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) then delivered the game's biggest blow, a grand slam deep over the leftfield wall on the first pitch of her at-bat. Romero now has six RBI in the season's first two games. Michigan led 7-0 with just one out in the inning.

Base hits from sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) set the table for more Michigan scoring in the fourth. Lane's at-bat meant Michigan had batted around in the inning. Then Hasselbach doubled to left-center, one of her three hits on the game, to plate two more runs.

Knapp brought Hasselbach home with one of her two hits in the game to cap the 11-hit, 10-run inning for the Wolverines.

Three Michigan pitchers subdued the Owls hitting attack and held them to just one hit in five innings. Driesenga started and went three innings without giving up a hit. She picked up her second win in as many games. Senior Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond) came on in the bottom of the fourth to relieve Driesenga.

Florida Atlantic scored two runs in the top of the fifth on one hit, one passed ball and one wild pitch. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, freshman Alice Fitzpatrick (Union Grove, Wis./Union Grove) made her collegiate debut by replacing Speierman.

Fitzpatrick recorded the game's final two outs, punctuating her debut with a strikeout on the game's final batter.

Michigan continues play in the USF Tournament on Saturday (Feb. 9) against No. 10 USF at 4 p.m. and will play Sunday (Feb. 10) against Samford at 9 a.m.


• Michigan is now 12-2 all-time against Florida Atlantic. The last meeting came on Feb. 18, 2012, a 2-0 Michigan win.

• Three Wolverines made their collegiate debuts: Kelsey Susalla, Mary Sbonek (pinch runner in the fourth), and Alice Fitzpatrick.

Taylor Hasselbach set new single-game career highs with three hits, two runs and one stolen base.

Jaclyn Crummey picked up her first career hit with a single in the fourth inning.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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