Driesenga, Sweet Tally Five-RBI Games in Doubleheader Sweep at PSU
Lauren Sweet

March 30, 2013

• Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2

Site: State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion Softball Park)
Score: #14 Michigan 18, Penn State 4 (5 innings); #14 Michigan 9, Penn State 6
Records: U-M (28-7, 6-0 Big Ten), Penn State (7-19, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 2 -- vs. Western Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 14 University of Michigan softball team used big innings in game one of its doubleheader with Penn State and a big outing from sophomore catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) in game two to sweep the Nittany Lions, 18-4 and 9-6, at the Nittany Lion Softball Park today (Saturday, March 30).

Sweet provided a jolt to the Maize and Blue in game two. She set career highs in hits (four), doubles (three), runs (3) and runs batted in (five). Her three doubles tied a U-M single game record (Marissa Young: Feb. 25, 2000, vs. Kent State). She also hit a three-run homer.

Sweet started the scoring with a double in the second inning, scoring freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) who reached on walk. Sweet came around to score on single from Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco), her second hit of the game.

In the third inning Sweet once again provided the offensive fireworks, blasting her third home run of the year to build a 5-0 U-M lead. Freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) followed suit in the top of the fourth, hitting a solo shot out to right.

The Nittany Lions clawed back in their half of the fifth, scoring six runs on six hits and two Maize and Blue errors. Four of the runs were unearned.

Until the fifth, sophomore pitcher Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) had a one hitter going. She finished the game with six strikeouts and did not walk anyone. She threw a complete game, her third of the season, to pick up her eighth win.

With the Nittany Lions down 7-6 in the sixth, Lawrence and Sweet delivered two insurance runs with a sac fly and a double, respectively. The RBI was the fifth of the game for the sophomore catcher. Wagner shut the door in the seventh, giving the Wolverines its second Big Ten series sweep.

In game one, the Wolverines batted around in the first inning, sending 12 batters to the dish in all. The Maize and Blue combined four base hits with five walks for six runs. Sappingfield had two hits in the inning and one run batted in, while senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) and Sweet each had RBI singles.

Following a Penn State two-run homer in the bottom of the first, U-M continued its offensive onslaught scoring at least one run in every frame. The offense batted around again in the third and fourth innings.

In the third inning Romero scalded a 2-1 pitch, hitting a rocket over the rightfield wall on a line for a three-run home run. Four batters later, sophomore starting pitcher Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) drilled a single back up the middle with the bases loaded to score two more. Freshman Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) capped the six-run inning with a pinch-hit RBI single on the first pitch she saw. At the end of three innings, U-M had pushed 11 runs across the plate.

Junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) plated the 12th Maize and Blue run with her third hit of the game in the fourth inning. Three more runs came around on a PSU error and bases loaded walk to junior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston).

Romero led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to rightfield, a high fly ball that landed close to same spot as her third inning homer. That was run 18 for the Wolverines a season high.

Driesenga picked up her 19th win of the season, pitching all five innings in the run-rule victory.

The Wolverines return home for a non-conference game on Tues., April 2 against Western Michigan at 4 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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