Driesenga, U-M Shut Out Samford to Close Opening Weekend
Caitlin Blanchard

Feb. 10, 2013

Box Score

Site: Tampa, Fla. (USF Softball Stadium)
Event: USF Tournament
Score: #15 Michigan 4, Samford 0
Records: U-M (3-1), Samford (2-2)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 16 -- vs. Toledo - FAU Kickoff Classic (Boca Raton, Fla.), 11 a.m.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) turned in a five-strikeout, complete-game shutout to carry the University of Michigan softball team (No. 15 USA Today/NFCA, No. 13 ESPN/USA Softball) to a 4-0 victory over the Samford Bulldogs today (Sunday, Feb. 10) at the USF Tournament held at USF Softball Stadium.

Driesenga did not walk a batter and scattered six hits over seven innings. The Maize and Blue defense provided good support behind her. In the second inning in scoreless game, and with a Samford runner at first, senior third baseman Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) fielded a high chopper and cut down the lead runner at second with a strong throw to prevent her from moving into scoring position.

The Wolverines made two fine defensive plays in the fifth while protecting a one-run lead. Freshman shortstop Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) charged a short hopper and just beat the runner to first with a precise toss. When Samford did put a runner on with a single in the fifth, junior catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) threw her out with a few feet to spare on an attempted steal.

The Michigan offense collected nine hits on the day, led by Driesenga, Blanchard and Knapp, who each had two hits and one run batted in.

Romero and Driesenga led off the fourth inning with back-to-back singles. Then with one out, Blanchard ripped a hot shot past the first baseman into rightfield. Romero scored to put Michigan up 1-0.

Michigan used two hits, a sacrifice and an error to pad the lead by two more runs in the fifth inning. Knapp started the inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice from junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community). The Samford shortstop could not handle a ground ball from junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco), putting runners on first and third. Romero followed up with a sacrifice fly to the wall in left to score Knapp with her ninth RBI on the young season.

Driesenga then helped herself with a single up the middle to score Sappingfield. The Maize and Blue added its fourth and final run in the sixth on a Knapp single.

The righthanded Driesenga then got two Samford groundouts in the seventh and finished the game with a strikeout for her second complete-game win of the year.

Michigan finished the USF Tournament with a 3-1 record, defeating Marshall (Feb. 8), Florida Atlantic (Feb. 9) and Samford (Feb. 10). The lone loss came to No. 12 USF (Feb. 9).

The Maize and Blue will resume play on Saturday (Feb. 16) in the FAU Kickoff Classic in Boca Raton, Fla., against Toledo at 11 a.m. and LIU Brooklyn at 1 p.m. The Wolverines will also play twice Sunday (Feb. 17), against Maryland at 9 a.m. and Massachusetts at 11 a.m.


Sara Driesenga pitched 23 innings during the weekend and gave up just three earned runs.

Sierra Romero collected four hits, including two home runs and a double, along with nine RBI for the tournament.

Brandi Virgil made her first start of the season in rightfield.

Sierra Lawrence started at second base following two starts in leftfield.

Kelsey Susalla made her first collegiate start.

• Michigan is now 3-0 all-time against Samford. U-M won the last meeting, 7-0, on March 15, 1996.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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