Feb. 22, 2014
Site: Boca Raton, Fla. (FAU Softball Stadium)
Event: FAU Invitational
Scores: #7 Michigan 3, #5 Kentucky 0; #7 Michigan 1, Kent State 0 (9 inn.)
Records: U-M (11-2), Kentucky (12-2), Kent State (5-4)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 23 -- at Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton, Fla.), 11 a.m.
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Junior pitchers Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) and Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) combined to throw 16 scoreless innings as the No. 7-ranked University of Michigan softball team knocked off No. 5 Kentucky, 3-0, and Kent State, 1-0, in nine innings on Saturday (Feb. 22) at the FAU Invitational held at FAU Softball Stadium.
Michigan pitchers have now thrown three consecutive shutouts and have yielded just one run in 28 innings at the FAU Invitational.
Wagner was masterful against the Wildcats, limiting a potent offense to just a pair of singles. Kentucky entered the game hitting better than .300 but was completely shutdown by the southpaw. She struck out five hitters without walking any. Only one runner reached scoring position -- Sylver Samuel in the third, who reached on a bunt single.
The lefty put together a quartet of 1-2-3 innings, including the final three innings of the game to squelch any hopes of a UK comeback.
The junior took control of the game from the circle despite coming under fire in the batter's box. She was hit twice, in the second and sixth innings.
Wagner now has two complete-game shutouts on the young season. This also marked the third time in her five complete games that she has given up just two hits. The junior lowered her earned run average to 0.81.
Offensively, the Wolverines did enough to come away with the win. U-M got on the board in the second on a single from senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) that scored freshman Lindsay Montemarano (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford). The Maize and Blue added another run in the third off the bat of sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), who poked a two-out double into left field. Lawrence was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in Michigan's third run.
In the second game of the day, U-M scratched out a 1-0 win in extra innings. Wagner picked up her second win of the day after tossing two innings of scoreless relief in the eighth and ninth.
Driesenga started in the circle for U-M and went the first seven innings, giving up just four hits. She received a tough-luck no-decision, but came away with the best results of her four starts in 2014. It is the first time she has not given up a run.
Driesenga and Wagner combined for seven strikeouts and no walks
Michigan threatened to score in several innings -- including the eighth when freshman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) picked up a two-out single and stole second -- but it took until the ninth to push a run across.
Senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) entered the game as pinch hitter in the seventh and picked up a base hit, but it was her ninth-inning knock that won the game for U-M. Romero started Michigan's half of the ninth on second, per international tiebreaker rules. A groundout from junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) moved Romero to third, 60 feet from becoming the game's first run. Sappingfield followed with a shot down the right field line to plate Romero sew up U-M's seventh consecutive victory.
The Maize and Blue will play a single game against Florida Atlantic on Sunday (Feb. 23) to wrap up its appearance at the FAU Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla. First pitch against the Owls is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (firstname.lastname@example.org)