March 9, 2013
Site: Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
Event: Red and Black Tournament (Day 2)
Score: #14 U-M 2, Illinois State 1
Records: U-M (17-6), ISU (11-11)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 14 -- vs. Washington at Judi Garman Classic (Fullerton, Calif.), 11 a.m. PDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A two-out, seventh-inning double from freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) led to the winning run for the No. 14 University of Michigan softball team in its 2-1 win over Illinois State today (Saturday, March 9) in day two of the Red and Black Tournament at Ulmer Stadium.
U-M's half of the seventh inning began with two outs in a game deadlocked at 1-1 since the third. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) got on base with her second hit of the game, a sharp liner into right-center. Then Lawrence, batting behind Lane for the first time since U-M's game with Georgia Tech (March 1), drilled an 0-1 pitch into left-center. She legged out a double, and the Illinois State centerfielder's throw to third skipped into the Redbird dugout. Lane was awarded home to put the Wolverines on top, 2-1.
Starting pitcher sophomore Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) got the final three outs on two strikeouts and a groundout. Before yielding a walk in the seventh, Wagner had retired 13 straight. The Redbirds' only run came on their only hit, a third-inning solo home run.
Wagner earned her third win of the season, pitching her first complete game of 2013. She threw 28 complete games in 2012. The southpaw struck out seven and walked three, throwing 63 strikes in 101 pitches.
Michigan threatened to break the game open early, loading the bases in the first on hits from junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and a walk to sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville). Junior first baseman Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) fell behind 1-2 before delivering the game's first run on a single back up the middle. Blanchard is now 3-for-6 with six RBI in bases-loaded situations this season.
However, the U-M threat ended there, with the Redbirds escaping the jam via two groundouts. The Maize and Blue loaded the bases again in the third with the second hits of the game from Sappingfield and Blanchard and a Redbird error but could not plate any runs.
It was deja vu in the fourth when U-M put three runners on again. Senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) started the inning with a hustle double. She shot a grounder past the shortstop and then sped around first, getting to second safely before the leftfielder got the ball in. Junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) followed that by beating out an infield single, and then Romero walked. But that is where the three Wolverines stayed, and the game remain tied 1-1 until Lawrence's double in the seventh.
Michigan heads to the West Coast for five games March 14-16 in the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., beginning with Washington and Virginia Tech on Thursday (March 14) at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. PDT, respectively.
N O T E S
Nicole Sappingfield tied a season high with three hits. She had three hits in the Wolverines' first meeting with Redbirds (Feb. 22) in a game that went 10 innings.
Ashley Lane went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBI in the Red and Black Tournament.
Haylie Wagner is now 5-1 with one save at Ulmer Stadium.
The Wolverines tallied 31 hits against Illinois State in two games this season.
U-M is now 5-3 all-time vs. Illinois State. The last meeting as an 11-9 U-M win in 10 innings on Feb. 22, 2013 in Clearwater, Fla.
Michigan has nine games with double-digit hits this season.
This is the second season in a row Michigan has played Illinois State twice.
Michigan finished its spring break trip with a 7-3 record.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423