Feb. 24, 2013
Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Complex)
Event: NFCA Leadoff Classic
Scores: DePaul 4, #15 Michigan 3
Records: U-M (10-3), DePaul (8-7)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., March 1-3 -- at Citrus Classic (Orlando, Fla.)
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The University of Michigan softball team (No. 15 NFCA/USA Today, No. 15 USA Softball/ESPN) spotted DePaul four runs on three hits in the second inning, and despite a comeback attempt, fell to the Blue Demons, 4-3, Sunday (Feb. 24) at the NFCA Leadoff Classic held at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
The Wolverines chipped away at the DePaul lead in the third and fifth innings. In the third, senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) singled through the left side to lead off the frame. One out later, junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) walked and freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) singled to load the bases. Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) worked a 0-2 count and eventually took a walk to force in U-M's first run.
In the fifth inning, the Wolverines used two Blue Demon errors and a walk to score another run. With Romero on third, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) delivered a shot up the middle to score U-M's second run of the inning, making the game 4-3.
Driesenga started her fifth game of the weekend and pitched 1.2 innings, giving up four runs -- none earned. Senior Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond) relieved Driesenga in the second and got the first batter she faced to ground out.
From there, Speierman pitched five and one-third innings and did not give up a run. She struck out one batter without walking any.
The Wolverines finished the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 4-1 record, defeating No. 12 Louisiana-Lafayette and Illinois State on Friday (Feb. 22) and UC Davis and Hofstra on Saturday (Feb. 23)
The Maize and Blue resumes play on Friday (March 1) in the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla., against Georgia Tech and Texas A&M. In all, the Wolverines will play five games in the tournament.
N O T E S
U-M is now 9-6 all-time against DePaul. The Wolverines won the last meeting 3-1 on March 20, 2010 in Fullerton, Calif.
Former Wolverine Samantha Findlay is in her second season as an assistant coach with DePaul.
Sara Driesenga pitched 30.1 innings on the weekend, with four wins including a no-hitter against Hofstra (Feb. 23). She gave up just 23 hits and struck out 39 batters.
Freshman Sierra Romero is in the midst of a seven-game hit streak, while freshman Sierra Lawrence has hit safely in four straight games.
Senior Stephanie Speierman has delivered 7.1 straight innings of scoreless relief.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423