March 11, 2012
Site: Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
Score: Illinois State 5, #14 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (16-7), ISU (12-10)
Next U-M Event: Thursday, March 15 -- vs. Notre Dame at Judi Garman Classic (Fullerton, Calif.), 1 p.m. PDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A five-run third inning by Illinois State proved to be the difference as the No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team fell to the Redbirds, 5-1, Sunday afternoon (March 11) in the finale of the Red and Black Tournament at Ulmer Stadium.
Freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) was charged the loss after throwing 2.1 innings and giving up four runs on two hits. Michigan totaled just two hits in the game, a home run by junior second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) in the second inning and a single from sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) to lead off the seventh.
The Wolverines struck first in a big way, putting up a run in the second inning on Lane's home run. The second baseman hit one over the scoreboard in left-center on the 15th pitch of the at-bat after fouling off five consecutive pitches prior to the round-tripper.
Illinois State answered with five runs in the bottom of the third, using four hits and a Michigan error. With the bases loaded after two walks and a single to first base, a chopper by ISU got through the left side of the infield to score three and force a pitching change for the Wolverines. Two more hits for the Redbirds accounted for an additional two runs as Illinois State took a 5-1 lead after three.
The Wolverines did not have a baserunner until the seventh inning, when Sappingfield led off with a single to the shortstop. After consecutive popouts, senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central) reached on a error by the third baseman to bring up sophomore pinch-hitter Mandy Gardner (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Aliso Niguel), who popped up to end the game.
Michigan wraps up tournament action next weekend (March 15-17), traveling to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic. First up for U-M will be Notre Dame on Thursday (March 15) at 1 p.m. PDT.
N O T E S
Michigan is now 3-3 all-time against Illinois State.
Katie Luetkens made her first career start, starting in rightfield. She had made four appearances this season prior to this game. She also registered her first two career at-bats.
Illinois State is the second team Michigan has played twice this season. U-M knocked off Illinois State, 3-1, earlier this season at the NFCA Classic (Feb. 24). The Wolverines also played Louisiana Tech twice, going 2-0.
Michigan's three games this weekend marked the fewest weekend contests of the 2012 season thus far.
U-M went 1-2 this weekend at the Red and Black Tournament.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423