March 6, 2014
Site: Los Angeles, Calif. (Easton Stadium)
Scores: #5 Michigan 9, #4 UCLA 4
Records: U-M (14-3), UCLA (17-1)
Next U-M Event: Thu-Sat., March 6-8 -- at Judi Garman Classic (Fullerton, Calif.)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) drove in five runs, including three on a fifth-inning home run, to lead the No. 5 University of Michigan softball team to a 9-4 win over the No. 4 UCLA Bruins on Wednesday (March 5) at Easton Stadium. The win snapped UCLA's 17-game win streak to open the 2014 season.
Michigan fell behind after UCLA's second hitter of the game, Delaney Spaulding, hit a solo home run. Then in the third, Romero laced a two-run double into right-center to give Michigan the lead. Freshman Lindsay Montemarano (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) started the U-M rally with a leadoff walk to open the inning and was followed by back-to-back hits from seniors Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community).
In the fifth inning, the bottom of the order got it started again with Sappingfield's leadoff single from the nine spot in the lineup. Romero followed three batters later with a mighty blast -- her fourth homer of the year -- that gave the Wolverines a 6-2 lead.
Junior catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) added a run with a double in the sixth. Freshman Kelly Christner (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew) scored from first with some savvy base running.
The Bruins fought back in their half of the sixth, loading the bases with two hit batters and a single. Junior Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) came in to relieve starter Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) with Bruins on every base. Driesenga gave up a two-run base hit -- both runs were charged to Wagner -- and then settled in. A strikeout and a slick play on a scorched grounder by Romero got Driesenga and the Wolverines out of the inning, but not before UCLA tightened the score at 7-4.
In the seventh, senior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) added some insurance runs with her second home run of the year, a two-run shot to right. Blanchard finished with three runs batted in, and Romero tallied a three-hit night.
Wagner improved her record to 9-0, pitching five innings and giving up four runs -- three earned -- with three strikeouts. Driesenga earned her second save of the season.
The Maize and Blue plays a top-10 doubleheader Thursday (March 6) when it takes on No. 10 Arizona State and No. 6 Washington at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. First pitch against the Sun Devils is scheduled for 3 p.m. PST.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (email@example.com)