March 29, 2014
Site: State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion Softball Park)
Scores: #6 Michigan 12, Penn State 4 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (25-6, 6-0 B1G), PSU (6-21, 0-6 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 4 -- vs. Ohio State (Wilpon Complex), 6 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team continued its offensive onslaught, sweeping the season series at Penn State with a 12-4 run-rule victory in five innings Saturday (March 29) at the Nittany Lion Softball Park. U-M took the three-game set by a combined score of 40-4 and outhit PSU, 39-8.
Junior pitcher Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) kept the Nittany Lions off-balance, taking a no-hitter into fifth inning. PSU's Karlie Habitz tallied Penn State's first hit with two outs in what would be the final frame. That catapulted the Nittany Lions into a four-run inning, but it was not enough to prevent the mercy rule.
The Wolverines scored in every inning to build their 12-0 advantage. Sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) popped a single into left center that scored U-M's first run in first. The Maize and Blue added two more on a PSU error and kept the pressure on each inning thereafter.
Senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) seemed to always be in the mix on offense, batting 4-for-4 with two runs scored and one run batted in. Her single in the third scored sophomore Mary Sbonek (Southgate, Mich./Southgate Anderson) -- who pinch ran for Wagner following her first double of the season -- for a 5-0 Michigan lead. Sappingfield also started a five-run rally in the top of the fifth with her fourth hit of the game.
The Maize and Blue pulled away in that half inning with four hits, including RBI singles from Lawrence, senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) and a two-run single from Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago).
Wagner earned her 17th win of the season. For the weekend, she finished with two wins, 12.0 innings pitched and only four runs allowed.
The Maize and Blue will next play against Ohio State on Friday (April 4) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. Tickets are available on MGoBlue.com/tickets. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (email@example.com)