Wolverines Hang On for Win over Louisiana Tech in Season Opener
MGOBLUE Taylor Hasselbach
MGOBLUE
Taylor Hasselbach
MGOBLUE

Feb. 10, 2012

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Site: Baton Rouge, La. (Tiger Park)
Event: Tiger Classic
Scores: #15 Michigan 7, Louisiana Tech 6
Records: U-M (1-0), Louisiana Tech (0-1)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 11 -- vs. LSU - Tiger Classic (Baton Rouge, La.), 12:30 p.m. CST

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored the first seven runs of the contest before holding on for a 7-6 season-opening win over Louisiana Tech in the first game of the Tiger Classic on Friday (Feb. 10) at LSU's Tiger Stadium.

The Wolverines tallied nine hits in the contest, led by freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville), sophomore outfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) and freshman catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) with two hits each. Sophomore first baseman Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in the third inning for her first career long ball. Driesenga picked up the win in the circle, pitching 4.0 innings while giving up just two hits and two unearned runs.

After Driesenga walked the first three Louisiana Tech batters of the game to load the bases, U-M strung together three outs over the next two batters to get out of the jam. Senior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) threw the runner out at the plate on a fielder's choice for the first out. The next batter flew out to rightfield and Doyle doubled up the Lady Techsters with a perfect throw to Sweet behind the plate for the inning's final out.

Michigan plated two runs in the second inning, loading the base with no outs to start the frame. Sweet, the fourth batter of the inning, knocked one up the middle to score senior shortstop Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central) from third, before senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) picked up a run batted in on the next at-bat on an error by the pitcher to push Michigan's lead to 2-0.

The Wolverines tacked on another two runs in the third inning as Hasselbach knocked out a two-run home run to push the Maize and Blue's lead to 4-0. Kirkpatrick doubled to right-center to start the inning and scored on Hasselbach's roundtripper.

A run-scoring single down the leftfield line from sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) ignited a three-run fourth inning for the Wolverines. Evans reached on a throwing error by the shortstop to start the inning, advancing to second on Doyle's single up the middle. Sappingfield's rip down the line scored Evans from second and pushed Doyle to third, where she scored from on a flyout by junior second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido). Driesenga provided the final RBI of the frame, singling up the middle to score Sappingfield as Michigan's lead increased to 7-0.

Louisiana Tech got on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, recording its first two hits of the contest and using a Michigan error to slice the Wolverine lead to 7-2.

The Lady Techsters scored another two runs on a two-run homer to right with two out in the bottom of the seventh. With runners on the corners after a single and a Michigan error, a Louisiana Tech double to the gap in right-center pushed another two runs across to board as U-M's lead shrunk to one at 7-6. The next Tech batter grounded out to third base to end the contest.

The Wolverines are back in action with two games tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 11), taking on No. 22 LSU at 12:30 p.m. CST and Louisiana Tech at 5:30 p.m. CST.



N O T E S

• RHP Sara Driesenga and catcher Lauren Sweet both made their first collegiate starts. LHP Haylie Wagner also made her collegiate debut.

• Michigan and Louisiana Tech squared off for the first time in school history.

• U-M has not lost its season opener since a 7-6 loss to Baylor on Feb. 12, 2005.

Lyndsay Doyle recorded the first outfield assist of her career, throwing out a base runner at the plate in the first inning.

Taylor Hasselbach hit the first home run of her career, recording a career-best two RBI.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423