March 1, 2013
Site: Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (ESPN Softball Diamondplex)
Event: Citrus Classic (Day 1)
Scores: #14 U-M 6, Georgia Tech 1; #14 U-M 9, #9 Texas A&M 2
Records: U-M (12-3), Georgia Tech (10-9), Texas A&M (19-1)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 2 -- vs. LSU (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.), 4:45 p.m.; vs. James Madison, 7 p.m.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) struck out double-digit batters in both games of a doubleheader sweep for the No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team (No. 14 NFCA/USA Today, No. 14 ESPN.com/USA Softball), who beat No. 9 Texas A&M, 9-2, and Georgia Tech, 6-1, during day one of the Citrus Classic on Friday (March 1) at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex.
U-M's win over the Aggies ended their 19-game win streak to open the season. Driesenga started the game by striking out the side in the bottom of the first and went on to set down 10 Aggies in all -- seven of them swinging.
The offense staked Driesenga to a four-run lead by the time she entered the circle. Junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) opened the game by beating out an infield hit, the eighth time in 15 games she got on base to start a game (five walks, three hits). Two straight A&M errors led to U-M's first run of the game.
Driesenga delivered the second run on a base hit through the left side. Then, with one out, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) and senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) came through with back-to-back base hits, building Michigan's lead to 4-0.
The Wolverines batted around in the first, and Doyle started the second just like she had the first. Following her base hit, junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) reached on an error. Doyle scored on a fielder's choice from Driesenga and then junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) slapped a single down the leftfield line to plate Sappingfield to make U-M's lead 6-0.
The long ball provided the rest of the game's runs. Texas A&M picked up its only two runs of the game on a two-run homer in the bottom of the second. Romero hit her fourth homer of the season deep into centerfield in the fourth to get back one of those runs. Lane belted a two-run shot -- her third of the season -- in the seventh to give U-M a seven-run lead.
On the game, Driesenga walked one batter, hit one and gave up seven hits. The victory is her 11th of the season, two more than her season total in 2012.
Romero and Lawrence extended hit streaks to nine and six games, respectively.
The Wolverines used a big first inning and Driesenga's right arm to stifle the Yellow Jackets.
Driesenga struck out a career-high 15 batters, 12 of them swinging. She struck out the side in the third, fourth and sixth innings. The sophomore walked just two Yellow Jackets and yielded four hits.
The Michigan offense started fast, scoring four runs in the first innings. Five of the first seven batters delivered base hits to push four runs across.
Doyle opened the game with a base hit, and one out later, Romero followed with a run-scoring single and scored on a two-out single from Lane. Lawrence and Blanchard came up with two-out run-scoring singles of their own to establish a 4-0 Wolverine lead before Georgia Tech even got an at-bat.
The Yellow Jackets used three hits of their own to score a run in the bottom of the first, but Driesenga gave up just one hit from there to earn her 10th win of the season.
U-M tacked on two runs in the seventh. Romero doubled and made it to third on a passed ball, and then two outs later, Lawrence walked and got caught in rundown on purpose, allowing Romero to make it home. Blanchard knocked in Lawrence with her second hit of the day to build Michigan's lead to 6-1.
On the day, Driesenga pitched 14 innings, striking out 25 and yielding only three runs on 11 hits.
U-M returns to action on Saturday (March 2) with a pair of games -- against No. 11 LSU at 4:45 p.m. and against James Madison at 7 p.m. at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex during day two of the Citrus Classic.
N O T E S
Sierra Lawrence reached base safely four times against Georgia Tech (two hits and two walks). She also stole two bases.
Amy Knapp was 2-for-3 vs. Georgia Tech, including a double in the fourth inning.
U-M is now 2-1 vs. ranked opponents in 2013 following its win over No. 9 Texas A&M (win vs. then-No. 12 Louisiana-Lafayette Feb. 22, loss vs. then-No. 12 USF on Feb 9).
Michigan improves its all-time record to 3-0 vs. Georgia Tech (last: 4-1 U-M win on Feb. 5, 2005) and to 4-3 vs. Texas A&M (last 7-4 U-M on Feb. 27, 1998).
Sarah Driesenga eclipsed her 2012 strikeout total (63) and now has 88 on the season.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423