Grand Slams, Dominant Pitching Carry U-M to Series Sweep of OSU
Taylor Hasselbach

April 6, 2014

• Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2
Quotes | Notes
• Highlights: Game 1 video icon | Game 2 video icon

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #5 Michigan 10, Ohio State 0 (5 inn.); #5 Michigan 9, Ohio State 1 (6 inn.)
Records: U-M (29-6, 9-0 Big Ten), OSU (17-18, 5-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 8 -- vs. Western Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 6 p.m. [ Tickets ]

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The pitching staff of the No. 5-ranked University of Michigan softball team today (Sunday, April 6) held the Ohio State Buckeyes to one run on five hits in a doubleheader sweep by scores of 10-0 in five innings and 9-1 in six innings at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The win in game one marks the 500th Big Ten Conference victory for head coach Carol Hutchins.

In game one, starting pitcher junior Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) went all five innings for the Wolverines and struck out six Buckeyes while yielding just one walk. She tossed the second consecutive shutout against OSU following Haylie Wagner's (Orange, Calif./El Modena) 1-0 win on Saturday (April 5).

Driesenga escaped a few early jams to keep the Buckeyes off the board. She induced a weak grounder with the bases loaded in the first to end the inning. In the third with a runner on third, the righty got a big strikeout to retire the side.

Michigan's offense was dormant until the bottom of the fourth when it kicked into gear and did not relent. U-M scored three runs in the fourth and then piled on seven in the fifth to run away with a 10-0 run rule victory.

OSU's starting pitcher, Olivia O'Reilly, kept the Wolverines off the board from the second inning on Saturday (April 5) until the third of game one. Then sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) crushed a solo home run in the fourth to breakthrough. Romero's shot landed in the pine trees beyond the left center wall that separate Alumni Field from Ray Fisher Stadium.

Three batters later, following a sharp single by sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) blasted a homer that seemed to fly right over the right field line, landing well beyond the outfield wall. Michigan led 3-0 going into the fifth.

The Wolverines sent eight batters to the dish in the home half of the fifth. Freshman Kelly Christner (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew) knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly -- senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) scored with a terrific hook slide to evade the catcher -- and Hasselbach drove in her third run of the game with a single to make it 5-0.

Following an Ohio State error that scored U-M's sixth run, junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) stepped to the dish with the bases against a new pitcher for the Buckeyes, Kasie Kelly. Sweet promptly hit the first grand slam of her career into the bleachers in right center, scoring four runs to end the game 10-0 in run-rule fashion.

The win evened up Driesenga's record at 3-3. It is the second shutout of the season for her.

In game two, freshman Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) struck out 10 batters, including two in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings. She created trouble for herself with a hit batter and walk in the second that eventually led to Ohio State's only run of the game -- and the series.

The freshman settled in after that, facing just 10 batters over the next three innings.

Michigan's offense got the run right back after OSU scored in the second. Sweet hit the first pitch she saw in game two into the stands -- her second home run of the day, and second on two consecutive pitches -- to tie the game 1-1. Back-to-back run-scoring hits from seniors Doyle and Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) put U-M 3-1.

Hasselbach continued her power hitting, blasting a home run in the fifth and grand slam in the sixth inning. She finished game two 2-for-4 with two homers and five runs batted in. For the day, she batted 4-for-7 with three homers and eight RBI.

A bases-loaded walk to senior Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) forced Michigan's ninth run, and gave the Wolverines their second run-rule victory of the day.

Sappingfield finished the game with three hits, including a double, and Doyle and freshman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) each added a pair of hits.

The Wolverines will square off with Western Michigan in a midweek game on Tuesday, April 8 at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and tickets are still available.

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