March 22, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #14 U-M 9, Purdue 0 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (22-7, 1-0 Big Ten), Purdue (11-16, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 23 -- vs. Purdue - doubleheader (Wilpon Complex), Noon
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A trio of home runs, including a pair from freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta), and a five-inning shutout from sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) delivered the 14th-ranked University of Michigan softball team a 9-0 win over Purdue today (Friday, March 22) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The matchup marked U-M's home and Big Ten opener.
Michigan started with a bang, scoring three runs after just three batters. Leadoff batter junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) reached base when she was hit by a pitch, and then junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) laid down a bunt into the no-man's land between the third baseman and shortstop for a single. Romero fell behind 1-2 in her first at-bat at Alumni Field; but she pummeled the next pitch into the grandstands in rightfield, giving U-M a 3-0 lead on her ninth home run of the season.
U-M scored another run in the second on a base hit each from junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) and freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) and a fielder's choice from Doyle. The Maize and Blue had a 4-0 lead after two innings.
The offensive firepower flared once more in the bottom of the third. Romero reached on her second hit of the game, a single right back through the box. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) delivered a carbon copy of Romero's single, and U-M had runners at the corners. In a two-balls, no-strikes count, Blanchard blasted one out to right to plate three more runs.
Driesenga gave up a hit to the first batter of the game, but catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) erased her on the base paths trying to steal. Driesenga went on to set down nine straight Boilermakers in a row into the fourth inning.
Purdue threatened in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases on the three straight base hits. However, Driesenga left the bases loaded, getting the third out of the inning on a swinging strikeout.
For the game, the sophomore struck out seven of the 18 batters she faced. She earned her 17th win of the season and her third shutout.
The Wolverines return to action on Saturday (March 23) against Purdue in a doubleheader that begins at noon at the Wilpon Complex.
N O T E S
Caitlin Blanchard's third-inning home run is her first since April 2, 2011, against Indiana.
Sierra Romero had her second multi-home run game of the season (March 14 vs. Washington). She finished 3-for-3 on the day, with five runs batted in, a new career high.
U-M improves to 40-2 all-time against Purdue (last: 8-0 win in five innings on May 12, 2012).
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the offensive output ... "Caitlin (Blanchard) has been working hard this, she's been trying to get her swing bigger, and I was really excited for her. And what can you say about Sierra (Romero)? Our biggest thing will be protecting her and making sure people pitch to her. She's just excited to play the game and as happy as a clam out there."
On finally being back at Alumni Field ... "You could see the kids were excited to be out there today. I think being at home, especially the kids who've been in the program, realize how special it is to play at Alumni Field. And we're contagious. Sierra (Romero) gave us some energy with that big swing in the first inning, and they all caught it. But when the going's tough, and I expect tomorrow to be tougher, can we stay within ourselves and persevere? And that's the question.
On Sara Driesenga continuing her maturation in the circle ... "She does continue to mature and when you look at this team, we really are a team. Different people continue to step up. Sara continues to get better and do her part, and I was very pleased with her."
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423