March 6, 2013
Site: UCF Softball Complex
Scores: #14 Michigan 11, UCF 2 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (15-5), UCF (14-9)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 8 -- vs. Miami (Ohio) at 1:30 p.m., vs. Louisville at 4 p.m. - Red and Black Tournament (Louisville, Ky.)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Ten two-out runs proved to be the difference for the No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team in its 11-2 run-rule win in five innings over the UCF Knights today (Wednesday, March 6) at the UCF Softball Complex.
The big inning for the Wolverines came in the third when they scored five runs on four hits. Junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) walked to lead off the inning and it looked like she may be stranded at second after a successful sacrifice and fly out. Then senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) started a string of four straight base hits with her shot into left. By the time freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) singled up the middle on the first pitch of her at-bat, U-M had a 9-1 lead.
Sophomore Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) made her season debut, pitching three innings. The 2012 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year sat out U-M's first 19 games with an injury. She walked the first batter she saw after an eight-pitch battle; but junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) threw out the runner trying to steal on the next pitch. Wagner got the next two batters on a ground out to third and a fly out to right to end her first inning of work of 2013.
In all, Wagner gave up two hits in three innings, allowed one earned run on a home run, walked one and struck out one batter swinging. She faced 12 batters in all.
U-M took an early lead when junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) scored on a UCF error in the first inning. She led off the game with a single and moved around the bases on another error and a sacrifice bunt.
The Wolverines used two doubles and two walks to score three runs in the top of the second. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) pounded a double off the right-centerfield wall, and then she scored following a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. Doyle restarted the inning with two outs by taking first on a walk. Junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) reached on a walk as well, and then both base runners scored a double from Romero.
UCF scored its runs on a solo home run in the second and an error and base hit in the third. U-M needed an eight-run advantage to enact the run-rule decision and got it in the fifth.
Knapp led off the inning with a triple. On the day, she went 2-for-2 and scored two runs. Doyle followed her with her third hit of the game to plate Knapp. Junior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) pinch hit for Blanchard with two outs and delivered a run-scoring single -- U-M's 10th run with two outs.
Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) pitched the final two innings of the game, her 20th appearance in 20 games (including 18 starts). She kept the Knights' bats quiet, facing the minimum of six hitters and striking three of them out.
Michigan begins play in the Red and Black Tournament with two games on Friday (March 8) against Miami (Ohio) at 1:30 p.m. and against host and No. 13-ranked Louisville at 4 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The Maize and Blue plays one game on Saturday (March 9) versus Illinois State at 9:30 a.m. to wrap up its spring break trip.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423
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