March 3, 2013
Site: Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (ESPN Softball Diamondplex)
Event: Citrus Classic (Day 2)
Scores: #11 LSU 14, #14 Michigan 6; #14 Michigan 9, James Madison 1
Records: U-M (13-4), LSU (17-3), James Madison (9-5)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 3 -- vs. Oregon (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.), 9 a.m.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team split a doubleheader on a blustery and unseasonably chilly Florida night, losing, 14-6, to No. 11 LSU before winning the nightcap, 9-1 in six innings, over James Madison during day two of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex.
The first pitch against JMU did not happen until after 9 p.m., more than two hours past the scheduled start time. A backup on the tournament fields, and U-M's three-hour game with LSU both contributed to the late start. But the Wolverines were alert and took advantage of several JMU miscues in the field to build a 5-0 lead by the end of the fourth inning. Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) was steady on the mound, striking out 10 in a complete-game effort. She earned her 12th win of the year.
Freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta), who finished 3-for-4, picked up a two-out hit in the third. She stole second and then scored Michigan's first run following a walk and a JMU error.
In the fourth inning, the Wolverines capitalized on two JMU errors to score four more runs. Driesenga's bases-loaded line drive was dropped by the rightfielder, and three Wolverines came around to score.
The offensive fireworks were really on display in the sixth inning. With a 5-1 lead, the Maize and Blue unleashed three home runs. Romero lofted a two-run homer to rightfield, her fifth of the season. Two outs later, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) and senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) hit back-to-back solo home runs to left, their second and fourth of the year, respectively.
The nine runs were more than enough for Driesenga, who scattered four hits in six innings and yielded one unearned run.
Against LSU, the Wolverines struck first, scoring two in the bottom of the second. Lawrencewalked to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Lane. While Lawrence was stealing third, the catcher's throw bounced off her foot and went into the U-M dugout. Lawrence was awarded home plate to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.
Senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) walked with two outs to bring up leadoff hitter junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community), who hit a rope into the right-centerfield gap and legged out her first triple of the year to score Knapp.
The Tigers struck back in the top of the third, using six hits, a hit batter, a walk and an error to plate six runs and take the lead. LSU built its lead to 10-2, before U-M staged a small comeback.
The Wolverines scored four runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning on a walk, a fielder's choice and four hits. Knapp led off with a walk, the third time she reached base in the game. Doyle, junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and Romerostrung together three straight base hits to score another Michigan run. A fielder's choice from Driesenga, a single from junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) and a passed ball cut the LSU lead to 10-6.
However, the Tigers added four more on a grand slam in the seventh inning.
Driesenga started the game and had her shortest outing of the year. She pitched two innings and faced five batters in the third. She left after giving up six hits and allowing five runs -- but just three earned. She did work out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. LSU racked up three infield hits, but Driesenga got the cleanup hitter to bounce into a 1-2-3 double play and got another groundout to end the inning.
Senior Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond) worked one inning in relief. Freshman Alice Fitzpatrick (Union Grove, Wis./Union Grove) entered in the fourth and pitched four innings, the longest outing of her career.
Michigan wraps up its appearance in the Citrus Classic with a matchup against No. 10 Oregon Sunday (March 3) at 9 a.m. at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423