Defense Turns Three Double Plays Behind Driesenga in Win at MSU

April 12, 2014

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Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Secchia Stadium)
Score: #5 Michigan 8, Michigan State 0 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (32-6, 11-0 B1G), MSU (9-27, 2-11 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 13 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), Noon [ Big Ten Network ]

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A trio of double plays and a 13-hit attack powered the No. 5-ranked University of Michigan softball team to an 8-0 win at Michigan State in five innings today (Saturday, April 12) at Secchia Stadium.

Michigan followed its script from Friday (April 11), scoring a run just two hitters into the game. Senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) led off with a triple, using her speed to get around the bases after the ball squirted by MSU's second baseman and into right field. Senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) knocked her in with a single.

Junior Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) followed with a sharp run-scoring single through the right side on a 1-2 count, and a bounce out by senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) added U-M's third run of the first.

Hasselbach came through again in the third with two outs when she whistled a single into right, plating sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta). Hasselbach now has 28 runs batted in over Michigan's last 18 games.

Romero reached base three times in four plate appearances, including a run-scoring single in the fourth.

The Wolverines were sharp defensively, backing starting pitcher Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) with three double plays. Through two innings, Driesenga had given up two hits but faced the minimum number of batters thanks to a pair of double plays.

Driesenga found herself in trouble in the bottom of the third when a hit-by-pitch and two singles loaded the bases. MSU's Kassidy Kujawa grounded to third baseman Lindsay Montemarano (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford), who fired a strike to catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) to get the force out at home. Sweet wheeled and threw to first, hitting Kujawa in the back. The umpires ruled Kujawa was out of the baseline, giving U-M its third double play in three innings and getting Driesenga out of the inning unscathed.

Doyle turned in a defensive highlight in the fourth when she made a running catch on a fly ball in the left-center gap up against the wall to end the inning.

U-M secured eight runs for the run-rule decision with a pair in the fifth on Montemarano's second home run of the season and a RBI single from freshman Kelly Christner (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew).

Driesenga gave up five hits but did not walk anyone and only faced 18 batters thanks to the double plays. She threw only 56 pitches in five innings. Her record improves to 5-3.

The Wolverines and Spartans will conclude their series on Sunday (April 13) at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

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