March 23, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #14 Michigan 13, Purdue 5 (six innings); #14 Michigan 8, Purdue 7
Records: U-M (24-7, 3-0 Big Ten), Purdue (11-18, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, March 27 -- vs. Bowling Green (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team erased deficits of five runs and six runs on its way to victories of 13-5 in six innings and 8-7 over the Purdue Boilermakers in a doubleheader today (Saturday, March 23) at the Wilpon Complex. The three-game series served as U-M's Big Ten and home opening weekend.
Junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) delivered the final blow of the day, with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh in game two to score the winning run. Junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) represented the tying run when she beat out an infield single to second base. She was followed by junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco), who took a walk. With one out, Purdue made the choice to intentionally walk freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and load the bases. Romero entered that at-bat hitting 7-for-7 in the series with three home runs. Blanchard stepped to the plate batting in the cleanup fourth spot for just the second time this season. She drove a 1-1 pitch back up the box to bring the winning run home and cap an 8-7 comeback win.
The Wolverines fell down, 6-0, after two and, 7-2, after three before rallying back for the twinbill sweep. Sophomore Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) homered with one on in the second to put U-M on the board, while senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) blasted a three-run bomb in the sixth to tie it. The other two Wolverine runs came in the fifth.
In game one of the doubleheader, Purdue jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings.
U-M then got on the board in the bottom of the third with some two-out hitting of its own. Doyle roped a single back up the middle to get on base. She moved to second and into scoring position when Sappingfield was hit by a pitch. Romero singled home Doyle.
In the bottom of the fourth, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) -- following a Lane hit-by-pitch and infield single from Sweet -- deposited a two-out double.
The Sierra Show continued in the bottom of the fifth, as she smoked a 0-1 pitch over the wall in dead centerfield to make it a 5-4 ballgame. It was her 11th home run of the season. Four straight hitters reached base to tie the game and eventually give U-M the lead.
Ten Michigan batters came to the plate in the fifth, leading to six runs. That change in score made Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) the pitcher of record. She relieved Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) one batter into the fifth. The righty tossed two innings of scoreless relief for her 18th win, doubling her win total from 2012 (nine).
The Maize and Blue ended the game with a run-rule decision following a four-run sixth inning.
The Wolverines return to action with a non-conference game on Wednesday (March 27) against Bowling Green at 4 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex.