U-M Uses Hot Bats, Stellar Pitching to Claim Two Dominant Wins
Sierra Romero

Feb. 15, 2014

• Boxscores: Central Arkansas | Louisiana-Lafayette

Site: Lafayette, La. (Lamson Park)
Event: Ragin' Cajun Invitational
Scores: #6 U-M 7, Central Arkansas 0; #6 U-M 15, #20 Louisiana-Lafayette 1 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (6-2), Central Arkansas (3-6), Louisiana-Lafayette (4-3-1)
Next U-M Games: Sunday, Feb. 16 -- vs. Boston College (Lafayette, La.), 9 a.m. CST

LAFAYETTE, La. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team earned a pair of commanding victories against Central Arkansas (7-0) and Louisiana-Lafayette (15-1) on Saturday at the Ragin' Cajun Invitational played at Lamson Park. The Wolverines pounded out 22 hits and scored 22 runs in the two games while allowing just six hits and one run by the opposition.

Against Central Arkansas, Michigan jumped out to an early 4-0 lead as sophomore leftfielder Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) hit a first-inning grand slam for the second straight day. Senior centerfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) reached on an error to start the game and stole second base. She advanced to third on a bunt single by senior right fielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco). Sophomore shortstop Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) walked to load the bases with no outs. After senior first baseman Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) fouled out to third base, Lawrence homered to leftfield.

Michigan added two runs in the third inning to push its advantage to 6-0. Romero led off the inning by pounding the ball over the right-centerfield fence for a home run. It was Romero's second homer of the season and the 25th long ball of her two-year career. With one out, Lawrence walked and was moved to third base on a double by senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston). Junior catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) then scored Lawrence with a sacrifice fly to rightfield.

The Wolverines tacked on an additional run to close out the 7-0 victory. Freshmen second baseman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) singled and advanced to second on an error by the leftfielder. After advancing to third base on a groundout, Ramirez scored on a Sappingfield groundball to first base.

The Wolverines pounded out nine hits in the contest, while freshman Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) struck out 13 batters and allowed one walk during a one-hit shutout.

Against 20th-ranked Louisiana-Lafeyette, U-M scored 14 runs in the first three innings en route to a five-inning mercy ruling. The Wolverines had 13 hits in the contest after falling just short in their comeback bid last night against the Ragin' Cajuns.

Doyle led off the game with a walk and moved around the bases on a groundout and Romero single. A pass ball scored Doyle, and Romero moved around the bases and scored on an error by the shortstop. The Wolverines grabbed an early 2-0 lead on one hit and two errors by Louisiana-Lafayette.

The hot bats continued for Michigan in a five-running second inning as Sappingfield singled down the line to score Sweet, and Romero hit a grand slam. It was the team's third four-run hit of the invitational. U-M finished the second with five runs on six hits and stranded one runner on base.

The Wolverines crossed the plate seven times in the third inning despite only three hits. Louisiana-Lafayette helped the cause with three errors in the inning. Michigan added another run in the fourth inning, and the Ragin' Cajuns scored once in the fifth to close out the scoring.

Sappingfield and Romero were 3-for-4 against the Ragin' Cajuns, while Sweet and Ramirez went 2-for-3. Junior pitcher Haylie Wagner (El Modeno, Calif./Orange) scattered five hits over the five innings, with five strikeouts and one walk.

Michigan will play a single game against Boston College on Sunday morning (Feb. 16) at the Ragin' Cajun Invitational. The game with the Eagles begins at 9 a.m. CST.


• Romero contributed a pair of home runs today, with a solo shot against Central Arkansas and a grand slam against Louisiana-Lafayette. She has six walks in four games.

• Sweet led the team with two hits against Central Arkansas and followed up with a 2-for-3 outing against Louisiana-Lafayette. She contributed three runs batted in in the two games.

• Lawrence had the first-inning grand slam and was walked twice against Central Arkansas in her other plate appearances.

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