Michigan Takes Down MSU for Fourth Straight Run-Rule Victory

April 11, 2014

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #5 Michigan 9, Michigan State 1 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (31-6, 10-0 B1G), MSU (9-26, 2-10 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, April 12 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 1 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A balanced attack from hitters one through nine in the lineup for the No. 5 University of Michigan softball team led to a 9-1 victory in five innings over Michigan State on Friday (April 11) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. U-M has now won 12 of its last 15 by run-rule decisions.

All nine starters collected at least one hit, including a pair of hits for Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield).

In Michigan's home half of the first, Sappingfield shot a double over the left fielder's head, plating leadoff hitter Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community), who led off with a walk. After two batters, U-M had a lead that it did not relinquish.

Five batters later, starting pitcher Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calf./El Modena) followed Sappingfield's lead and popped a two-out double into the left-center gap, scoring two more runs.

In the third, MSU's Kassidy Kujawa tightened the game at 3-1 when she belted a solo home run. But U-M responded with three more in the fourth on a Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) double and a bases-loaded single from Blanchard. With the bases still loaded, Wagner was hit for the second time in the game, forcing in Michigan's sixth run.

In the top of the fifth, Wagner responded to being hit in her pitching arm twice. She struck out the side, ending the frame with her fourth strikeout in a row.

U-M ended the game with via run-rule by plating three more runs in the fifth on a sac fly from Lawrence, a double from Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) and Blanchard's second single of the game.

Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) batted 1-for-1 and was walked three times. She scored three runs on the game, as did Sappingfield. Doyle accounted for two, meaning Michigan's top three hitters scored eight of its nine runs.

Wagner was solid in the outing, yielding three hits over five. Her four strikeouts to end the game accounted for all of her strikeouts in the game. She finished off the Spartans by retiring the last seven batters in a row. She is now 19-0, equaling her win total in 2013.

The Wolverines and Spartans will square off again tomorrow (Saturday, April 11) at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m., and the game will be streamed on the Big Ten Digital Network.