March 14, 2013
Site: Fullerton, Calif. (Anderson Family Field)
Event: Judi Garman Classic (Day 1)
Scores: #15 Michigan 6, #18 Washington 1; Virginia Tech 3, #15 Michigan 2
Records: U-M (18-7), Washington (19-6), Virginia Tech (17-2)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 15 -- vs. Arizona State, 10 a.m. PDT; vs. Arizona, 3 p.m. PDT (Fullerton, Calif.)
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan softball team belted three home runs to brush aside No. 18 Washington, 6-1, before losing, 3-2, to Virginia Tech on Thursday (March 14) at Anderson Family Field. Freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) homered twice against the Huskies, while the game against the Hokies went down to the final inning.
Home runs from Wolverines playing in their native California made the difference in the first game of the day. Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) went the distance to shut down a potent Huskies offense.
Romero gave Driesenga a 1-0 lead before the righty stepped into the circle, roping a two-out home run to left-center in the top of the first, the rookie's sixth of the year.
The U-M offense tacked on another run in the third. With one out, senior lefty Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) slapped an opposite-field single on an 0-2 count to get on base. Junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) followed with a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off three pitches on a full count before drawing a walk. Knapp came around to score on a single from Driesenga.
The Huskies scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning on two hits. Driesenga yielded just five hits all game.
The Wolverines broke the game open in the sixth courtesy of another California native. With two runners on, sophomore Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) brought everyone around to score on a line-drive home run to left-center -- her first roundtripper of the season and first since April 15, 2012, against Michigan State.
With a 5-1 lead, Driesenga faced her first real jam of the game. The Huskies loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth on a hit, error and hit-by-pitch; but Driesenga forced a groundout to first to end the inning. In the top of the seventh inning, Romero hit her second home run of the game, another solo shot.
Driesenga finished with her 14th win of 2013, limiting a Huskies offense that had averaged 6.8 runs per game.
The Hokies struck first in game two, pushing across one run in the fifth. The leadoff batter reached on a hit-by-pitch, and two singles plated her. In the sixth, they added two more runs on a walk, fielder's choice and two hits.
Down 3-0, the Wolverines got on the board in their half of the sixth. Doyle walked with one out, junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) reached on her second hit of the game, and Romero walked to load the bases. Driesenga lofted a fly ball into just into foul territory in rightfield that the Hokies' OF raced down. Doyle tagged up to make it a two-run game.
The Wolverines put the tying run in scoring position in the seventh. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) walked with one out and came around to score on Knapp's double to left-center. However, Knapp was stranded at second.
Sophomore Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) started her fourth game of the season and pitched four and two-thirds innings. She gave up one run on two hits and took the loss. Driesenga came on in relief in the fifth with two runners on and got the next batter to ground out.
Michigan continues play in the Judi Garman Classic with two games on Friday (March 15) against No. 2 Arizona State at 10 a.m. and against No. 14 Arizona at 3 p.m. at the Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, Calif. Both times are PDT.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423