March 29, 2013
Site: State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion Softball Park)
Score: #14 Michigan 7, Penn State 4
Records: U-M (26-7, 4-0 Big Ten), Penn State (7-17, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 30 -- at Penn State - doubleheader (State College, Pa.), 1 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A pair of second-inning home runs and five innings of solid relief pitching from sophomore Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) made the difference in the No. 14-ranked University of Michigan softball team's 7-4 win at Penn State today (Friday, March 29) at the Nittany Lion Softball Park. The win is number 1,300 in the career of Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins, just the third NCAA softball coach to reach that plateau.
Penn State scored its two runs courtesy of the long ball in the first, but U-M powered up its offense in the very next frame to erase that deficit. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) led off the inning with her eighth home run of the season. She pulled a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield wall, clearing the 20-foot high scoreboard beyond the fence.
Four batters later, pitcher sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) hit a laser over the rightfield wall, a two-run homer. It was the fourth time Driesenga hit a home run in a game that she was also pitching in.
Wagner relieved Driesenga in the third inning with two runners on and no outs. She got three straight outs on two groundouts and a lineout to strand the runners and maintain the 3-2 Michigan lead. Wagner pitched the final five innings and earned her seventh win of the season. Two Penn State runners came around to score in the seventh, but both runs were unearned. Wagner struck out five batters without walking any.
The U-M offense used a pair of two-run innings later in the game to build a 7-2 lead. A Penn State error and a walk led to a run-scoring double off the wall in center by junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channonhon, Ill./Minooka Community). Classmate Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) followed that with a single and her 12th run batted in of the season.
In the top of the seventh, freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) knocked in a run with her second double of the game. Senior Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) made it a five-run game with her RBI single up the middle that scored Lawrence.
In 30 years as a NCAA softball, Coach Hutchins has a career record of 1,300-437-4. She has the third-most wins in NCAA softball history and is the winningest coach in the history of U-M athletics.
The Wolverines will conclude the series with Penn State with a doubleheader on Saturday (March 30) at the Nittany Lion Softball Park. Start time is 1 p.m.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423