U-M Utilizes Two Big Innings to Defeat UMass, Florida Atlantic
Sierra Lawrence

Feb. 17, 2013

• Boxscores: Massachusetts | Florida Atlantic

Site: Boca Raton, Fla. (FAU Softball Stadium)
Event: FAU Kickoff Classic
Scores: #14 Michigan 13, Massachusetts 2 (five inn.); #14 Michigan 4, Florida Atlantic 2
Records: U-M (6-2), Florida Atlantic (0-3)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., Feb. 22-24 -- at NFCA Leadoff Classic (Clearwater, Fla.)

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The 14th-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored 17 runs in two frames to come up with a pair of victories on Sunday (Feb. 17), first run ruling Massachusetts (13-2 in five innings) before doubling up Florida Atlantic (4-2) at FAU Softball Field.

A pair of freshmen combined to knock in eight runs (four each) during a 13-run inning first against UMass.

With U-M leading 1-0 in the first thanks to a bases-loaded walk, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) delivered the game's first big blow, a bases-clearing triple down the leftfield line. Not to be outdone by her classmate, freshman Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) drove a 1-2 pitch into the palm trees beyond the centerfield wall. It is the first home run of Susalla's collegiate career, and it put Michigan up 6-0.

That only reset the Maize and Blue offense. Four straight base hits -- from senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore), junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community), junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) -- brought home another Wolverine run.

Following a fielder's choice, UMass error and walk, Lawrence was up again. This time she singled back up the middle to score senior Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville). Susalla followed with a two-run double.

The first inning took 45 minutes to complete. The Wolverines sent 18 batters to the plate, picked up nine hits and scored 13 runs.

That lead was more than enough for starting pitcher Driesenga, who picked up her fifth win of the season, pitching two innings without giving up a run and striking out four. Senior Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond) came on in the third inning and pitched two innings. She gave up two runs on a Massachusetts home run in the fourth. Freshman Alice Fitzpatrick (Union Grove, Wis./Union Grove) made her second appearance of the weekend to close the game out in the fifth.

One big inning made the difference in the second game of the doubleheader against Florida Atlantic. After the Owls scored a run in the first on two hits, the Michigan offense threatened in the second, third and fourth, putting runners in scoring position but could not bring them around to score. It was not until the fifth when the Wolverine bats broke through.

With one out, Doyle and Sappingfield both singled. Romero reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Driesenga, who drilled a line drive over the leftfield wall to score all four of Michigan's runs on the game.

Driesenga made that lead standup in the circle. She pitched a complete game, giving up just six hits and striking out four to earn her fifth win of the year. Meanwhile, the Wolverine defense turned double plays in the first and fifth innings.

The Owls put together a small rally in the seventh and picked up one run to close the gap to 4-2, but Driesenga shut the door. She struck out the final batter of the game to cap the Wolverines' appearance in the FAU Kickoff Classic.

Michigan finished the tournament 3-1, defeating Maryland (Saturday, Feb. 16) along with Massachusetts and Florida Atlantic. The Maize and Blue dropped a 2-1 game to LIU Brooklyn yesterday.

The Wolverines return to the diamond Friday (Feb. 22) for two games in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Fla., against Louisiana-Lafayette and Illinois State. In all the Wolverines will play five games in the tournament.


• Against FAU, Sierra Lawrence collected her first stolen base ... Lyndsay Doyle tied her single-season high with her sixth stolen base ... Caitlin Blanchard went 3-for-4 with a double.

• Against UMass, Katie Luetkens made her season debut, picking up a walk as a pinch hitter ... Olivia Richvalsky made her collegiate debut as pinch runner.

• Michigan is now 9-5 all-time against Massachusetts. The Wolverines dropped a 1-0 decision last year (Feb. 24, 2012).

• U-M is now 13-2 all-time against FAU. The Wolverines beat the Owls last weekend (Saturday, Feb. 9) 10-2.

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