Michigan Homers its Way to Doubleheader Sweep at MSU
Ashley Lane

April 14, 2013

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

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Secchia Stadium)
Score: #12 Michigan 11, Michigan State 2 (6 inn.); #12 Michigan 8, Michigan State 7 (8 inn.)
Records: U-M (35-7, 12-0 Big Ten), Michigan State (21-17, 7-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 16 -- at Indiana - doubleheader (Bloomington, Ind.), 2 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan used the home run ball to sweep a doubleheader at Michigan State today (Sunday, April 14) at Secchia Stadium. U-M posted an 11-2, six-inning win in game one before rallying for an 8-7 win in eight innings in game two.

In game two, junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) drove in the game-winning run in the top of the eighth. With two outs, the Spartans walked freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) on four pitches to get to Blanchard and push junior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) into scoring position.

Blanchard responded with a sharp single down the leftfield line to plate Sappingfield, giving U-M an 8-7 lead. Sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) slammed the door on the Spartans in the bottom of the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning to secure the victory.

The Wolverines erased two deficits in the game to earn their 35th win of the season and 17th in a row.

Down 3-1 going into the sixth, U-M scored three runs with a pair of homers. Senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondid) led off with her ninth bomb of the season after two long foul balls in earlier at-bats. Two batters later, freshman Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) homered on the first pitch she saw, putting U-M on top for the first time since the second inning.

MSU came right back in its half of the sixth, pushing four runs across. Driesenga relieved starter Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) with no outs in the sixth.

The Wolverines came back with three runs, as Lane blasted her second of the game. The two-run shot cut the deficit to 7-6. Freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) jacked a solo shot to left, her fifth of the season, to tie it.

Driesenga picked up the win, her 21st of the season, with her three innings of relief. The triumph over MSU is the 10th in a row for U-M dating back to 2009.

In game one, Sappingfield led off the game with a single and came around to score on a grounder from Lane, before Driesenga worked her way out of two jams in both the second and third innings. In the second, after a Spartan reached third with just one out, Driesenga got the next two hitters swinging. In the third, with Spartans on second and third and one out, Driesenga got a strikeout and groundout to quench the threat.

With two outs in the fourth, Sappingfield legged out her third triple of the season and came home on a double from Blanchard. The Spartans made it 2-2 going with a run in the bottom of the frame.

The Maize and Blue plated six in the fifth. Susalla came on as a pinch hitter and dropped a flare into right to score U-M's first run of the inning. Junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channohon, Ill./Minooka Community) followed that with an RBI single to give the Wolverines a 4-2 advantage.

The big blow came two batters later when Romero, who had been walked intentionally the previous three plate appearances, crushed a grand slam deep to leftfield.

The offense secured a run-rule victory with three more runs in the sixth inning. Susalla belted an 0-2 pitch out for her fourth of the season. Lane then drove in two with her third hit.

Wagner entered the game to relieve Driesenga with one out in the fourth, pitching the final 2.2 innings and striking out four without a walk for her 13th win of the season.

The triumphed marked U-M's second straight run-rule victory over MSU and 16th of the season.

The Wolverines head on Tuesday (April 16) to Indiana for a 2 p.m. doubleheader in Bloomington, Ind.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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