Michigan's Offense Stalls as Minnesota Sweeps Doubleheader
Amanda Chidester

April 21, 2012

Boxscores: Game 1 | Game 2

Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Jane Sage Cowles Stadium)
Scores: Minnesota 1, #20 Michigan 0; Minnesota 6, #20 Michigan 4
Records: U-M (31-13, 11-3 Big Ten), Minnesota (28-15, 7-7 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 22 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), Noon CDT

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan softball team dropped both games of a rain-delayed doubleheader to Minnesota, 1-0 and 6-4, on Saturday (April 21) at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

The Wolverines tallied just two hits in the day's first contest, an infield single from senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) in the third inning and a single to leftfield by freshman DP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) in the seventh. Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) was charged the loss, giving up just one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.

Minnesota scored the contest's lone run in the third inning, when Erica Meyer homered to centerfield.

Down to its final chance in the seventh inning, Michigan put two runners on base but could not cross home as the rally was cut short. With one out, senior first baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) drew her second walk of the contest before being lifted for junior pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota). Following a strikeout for the inning's second out, Driesenga singled to give the Wolverines runners at first and second. Sophomore pinch hitter Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) provided the final out, however, striking out looking.

Following a rain delay of two hours and 30 minutes, the day's second game was underway. Driesenga was the losing pitcher in the game, throwing 4.2 innings and giving up six runs (four unearned) on nine hits. The Maize and Blue collected six hits in the contest, with Chidester going 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs batted in and Driesenga hitting a two-run homer.

Minnesota once again scored in the third inning on a home run, as Kari Dorle hit a three-run roundtripper to left-center for a 3-0 Golden Gophers lead.

The Wolverines answered in the top of the fourth when Chidester homered to right-center to cut the deficit to 3-1. Minnesota put up another two runs in bottom half of the inning as its lead extended to four runs at 5-1.

Sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) tripled to lead off the sixth inning and scored on Chidester's single up the middle. Following a fielder's choice, Driesenga homered to rightfield for two more scores as Minnesota's lead shrunk to a run, 5-4.

Minnesota once again answered in its half of the inning, plating another run to push its lead back to two runs, and the Wolverines went down in order in the seventh inning.

The two teams will wrap up the series tomorrow (Sunday, April 22) with a single game at noon CDT.


• Michigan leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 74-25.

Nicole Sappingfield's 10-game hit streak was snapped in the first game of the doubleheader. She and Ashley Lane have each carried a 10-game hit streak this season.

Amanda Chidester hit her eighth home run of the season in the day's second game. She now has 38 in her career, which ranks fifth all-time at Michigan.

Nicole Sappingfield hit the second triple of her career in the day's second game. It was Michigan's second triple of the season.

• Junior RHP Stephanie Speierman made her first appearance since March 3. She pitched 0.2 innings in the second game.

Taylor Hasselbach (pinch hitter) and Brandi Virgil (pinch runner) each made appearances in both games.

• Michigan dropped consecutive contests to a Big Ten opponent for the first time since the 2007 season. Northwestern beat Michigan by a score of 6-5 on March 21, 2007 and 2-1 on March 22, 2007.

• U-M had its 10-game winning streak over Minnesota snapped with a loss in the first game.

Caitlin Blanchard appeared as a pinch hitter in the first contest of the day. It was her second appearance as a pinch hitter in the past two Big Ten series. She had missed 22 games to injury prior to her at-bat at Michigan State last Saturday (April 14).

• With two home runs in the 6-4 loss, it marked just the second time this season that U-M has lost after hitting at least two home runs. The other time it happened was in a 10-7 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 25.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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