Wagner, Driesenga Stifle Miami, U-M Unable to Rally Past Cardinals
Ashley Lane

March 8, 2013

• Boxscores: Miami | Louisville

Site: Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
Event: Red and Black Tournament (Day 1)
Scores: #14 Michigan 2, Miami University 0; #13 Louisville 5, #14 Michigan 4
Records: U-M (16-6), Miami (2-10), Louisville (17-3)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 9 -- vs. Illinois State (Louisville, Ky.), 9:30 a.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Following a 2-0 win over Miami University, the No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team scored three seventh-inning runs in a failed comeback bid in a 5-4 loss to the No. 13-ranked Louisville Cardinals at Ulmer Stadium.

The Wolverines struck first in the battle of top-15 teams. Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) roped a sharp single into rightfield to lead off the fifth inning. Junior Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) pinch ran and was sacrificed to second by junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield). Then with two outs, senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) punched a single into centerfield to plate Virgil and break the scoreless tie.

The Cardinals grabbed the lead in their half of the fifth with a bases-loaded double that scored two runs. Then in the sixth, the Cardinals extended their lead to 5-1 on three hits.

Michigan was down to its final three outs when freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) started a seventh-inning rally with her base hit through the left side. Then on a full count, Lane blasted a two-run home run into the Kentucky twilight, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

Louisville then changed pitchers, but senior Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota), starting at designated player, beat out an infield single to reset the offense. She was followed by senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore),who sprayed a double into the left-center gap, scoring Crummey. Knapp eventually made it to third, but the Wolverines could not bring her in, falling 5-4.

Driesenga started for the Wolverines and went the distance, striking out four while giving up five runs on seven hits. The game marked Michigan's return to Ulmer Stadium following its regional championship series win over Louisville May 19-20, 2012.

Michigan won its first game of the day against Miami (Ohio) behind the strong pitching of sophomores Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) and Driesenga. The lefty and righty combined in U-M's fourth shutout of the season. The hurlers limited the RedHawks to just two hits and only two balls even reached the outfield.

Wagner started her second game of the season, as she gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three RedHawks in five frames. She shined in the third, throwing only four pitches to induce three groundouts. For the outing, Wagner threw 58 pitches, 37 for strikes.

Driesenga relieved Wagner in the sixth and retired all six batters she faced in order, striking out two and getting four groundouts. It was Driesenga's 20th appearance and her first save of the season.

Driesenga brought in the winning run around in bottom of the first. Junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) beat out an infield hit and then stole her third base of the season. One out later, Driesenga drilled a double off the centerfield wall to score Sappingfield and give U-M a 1-0 lead.

The Wolverines added a second run in the fourth when Lane led off with a walk, the second time she reached base in the game. She made it around to third on a sacrifice and a fielder's choice, and then she scored on a RedHawk error.

Michigan wraps up its spring break trip with its final game in the Red and Black Tournament against Illinois State Saturday (March 9) at 9:30 a.m. at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky.


Caitlin Blanchard stole the second base of her career in the third inning against Miami.

Ashley Lane finished the day 3-for-4, with two runs scored and three RBI.

Haylie Wagner is now 4-1 with one save at Ulmer Stadium.

Jaclyn Crummey had two hits vs. Louisville and now has three multi-hit games this season.

Nicole Sappingfield had a hit in each game, extending her hit streak to seven games, the third-longest U-M streak this season.

• U-M's game against Miami (Ohio) was its shortest this season at 1:24.

• U-M is now 10-1 all-time vs. Miami. The last meeting was an 11-3 U-M victory on May 16, 2009.

• U-M is now 17-2 all-time vs. Louisville. The last meeting was a 4-0 Michigan win on May 20, 2012.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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