Offense Falters in Losses to No. 6 Washington, No. 10 Arizona State
MGOBLUE Nicole Sappingfield
MGOBLUE
Nicole Sappingfield
MGOBLUE

March 6, 2014

• Boxscores: Arizona State | Washington  ::  Notes

Site: Fullerton, Calif. (Anderson Family Field)
Event: Judi Garman Classic
Scores: #10 Arizona State 2, #5 Michigan 0; #6 Washington 7, #5 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (14-5), ASU (22-3), WASH (17-2)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 7 -- vs. Houston, Noon PST; vs. Arizona, 3:30 p.m. PST (Fullerton, Calif.)

FULLERTON, Calif. -- The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader against top-10 opponents Thursday (March 6) at the Judi Garman Classic, losing 2-0 to No. 10 Arizona State and 7-1 to No. 6 Washington at the Anderson Family Field.

In the nightcap, Washington did the bulk of its damage in the first two innings, scoring five two-out runs. After retiring the first two hitters in the bottom of the first, starting pitcher Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) surrendered three straight base hits to load the bases, before Whitney Jones emptied them with a grand slam to left.

The Huskies then added another two-out run in the second and made it 6-0 with a run in the fourth.

Michigan had chances early -- loading the bases in the first, and putting two runners on in both the second and third innings -- but could not break through until the fifth. Sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) ripped a single down the left-field line, scoring senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) to make the game 6-1. UW countered with its seventh run in the bottom half of the frame.

U-M racked up 10 hits in all, including two apiece from Sappingfield, senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community), junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta).

In the first game of the doubleheader against No. 10 Arizona State, the Wolverines managed just one hit -- a Sappingfield infield single in the sixth inning. The Maize and Blue had just one other baserunner; senior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) reached on a hit-by-pitch in the fifth.

Starting pitcher Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) lasted just 10 batters, giving up one run on two hits and three walks. She was relieved by junior Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) after 1.1 innings, and the defense turned a smooth double play behind the southpaw to end the second.

Wagner turned in an impressive escape in the fifth. ASU loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch, double and intentional walk and was poised to build on its slim 2-0 lead. The junior hurler turned right around with a strikeout, force out at home and another strikeout to put the brakes on a Sun Devils rally.

Sappingfield then broke up Dallas Escobedo's no-hitter in the next half inning.

The Wolverines return to action on Friday (March 7) for another doubleheader, as they square off against Houston and No. 7 Arizona at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. First pitch against the Cougars is slated for noon PST.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (mkasibor@umich.edu)