March 1, 2014
Site: Lakewood, Calif. (Mayfair Park - Lisa Fernandez Field)
Event: Louisville Slugger Invitational
Scores: #6 Michigan 7, Utah Valley 1 (6 inn.)
Records: U-M (13-2), UVU (0-13)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 2 -- vs. UCLA (Lakewood, Calif.), 5:45 p.m. PST
LAKEWOOD, Calif. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team fought through weather delays and a slow-starting offense to take a 7-1 win over Utah Valley Saturday (March 1) in a rain-shortened six-inning game at the Louisville Slugger Invitational held at Mayfair Park. U-M's second game of its scheduled doubleheader -- against Long Beach State -- was cancelled.
A deluge has been pounding Southern California and wiped out U-M's two games scheduled for Friday (Feb. 28). The game against Utah Valley started two hours late so the grounds crew could get the field ready. A lightning delay caused a 40-minute delay between the third and fourth innings and then more rain and lightning after six innings led to another delay and finally the game's cancellation.
Michigan held a 2-1 lead over Utah Valley until the offense opened up on the strength of four two-out hits in the sixth inning. Sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and senior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) collected back-to-back hits to build a 5-1 advantage. One batter later, sophomore Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) plated Blanchard and sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) with a sharp single back up the middle.
Romero paced Michigan with three hits and two runs batted in. Blanchard had a pair of hits and three RBI, all of which came with two outs. Susalla collected her first multi-hit game of the season with two singles.
The Wolverines were active on the base paths, swiping five bags in all. Freshman Abby Ramirez stole two bases, a new season and career high.
In the circle, juniors Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) split the pitching duties, with each tossing three innings. Wagner got the win in the relief, giving up just one hit and no runs. She struck out four batters following Driesenga's pair in the first three innings.
Freshman Lindsay Montemarano helped out with a couple of nifty plays at the hot corner. She helped Driesenga cement a 1-2-3 inning in the second with quick hands and an accurate throw on a slow roller to end the frame. Then in the sixth, she caught a hot shot off the bat of UVU's Erin Romero and doubled off Hailey Kofler at second.
Michigan is scheduled to play again on Sunday (March 2) against No. 5 UCLA at Mayfair Park in Lakewood, Calif. The game is slated to begin at 5:45 p.m. PST
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (firstname.lastname@example.org)