April 21, 2013
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: #9 Michigan 8, Iowa 6; U-M 8, Iowa 0 (5 innings)
Records: U-M (39-7, 16-0 Big Ten), Iowa (24-19, 4-11 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 23 -- vs. Central Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 6 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan softball team belted two home runs, including a grand slam from freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian), to top Iowa, 8-6, in game one of a doubleheader and then used an 11-hit attack and shutout from sophomore Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) to take game two, 8-0, in five innings today (Sunday, April 21) at the Wilpon Complex.
The pair of victories extend U-M's win streak to 21 games and keeps the squad perfect in the Big Ten with a 16-0 mark. The triumph in game two marked the 17th run-rule win for the Wolverines in 2013.
In game two, Driesenga hurled her fifth shutout win of the season, striking out five in five innings; she did not walk a batter. She needed a little help to work out of an early jam in the first. With a runner on third and one out, the Iowa batter dribbled a grounder to junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) at first. She nailed the runner coming home to keep the Hawkeyes off the board. Then with the bases loaded and two outs, Driesenga dialed up her second strikeout of the inning to set the Hawkeyes down unscathed.
A five-run fifth inning paved the way for a run-rule win by the Maize and Blue. Blanchard started the scoring by roping a bases-loaded single into rightfield that plated junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community). Following a sacrifice fly from senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido), Lawrence doubled into the right-center gap to score two more U-M runs. The Wolverines added one more on a fielder's choice from sophomore Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago).
U-M scored two runs in the fifth to end the game by run-rule. Lane belted her 12th home run of the season to right-center, a solo shot that put the Wolverines up 7-0. Then with two outs and a runner on first, freshman Kelsey Susalla (Garden City, Mich./Garden City) drilled a triple off the rightfield wall to score pinch runner Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek). Virgil's run -- U-M's eighth of the game -- triggered the run-rule decision.
Freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) jacked her 19th homer of the season in the first inning to give Driesenga and the Wolverines the lead after one.
Driesenga was efficient on the way to her 23rd win. She faced 22 batters in five innings of work and threw 43 strikes out of her 78 pitches.
Two home runs accounted for seven of U-M's eight runs in game one. Sweet opened up the scoring in the second with a three-run blast. Her fifth roundtripper of the season was a line-drive rope to leftfield.
Then in the third inning, the Wolverines piled on five more runs. With the bases loaded on two walks and single, Lawrence crushed a 1-1 pitch out to leftfield. The grand slam ball landed in the fir trees that populate the space between Alumni Field and Ray Fisher Stadium at the Wilpon Complex and put U-M up 7-0.
Doyle knocked a pitch back up the middle to score senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) and build the Maize and Blue lead to 8-0 after three.
The Hawkeyes fought back, hitting three home runs in the next four innings to come within two runs of the Wolverines. U-M outlasted the Iowa surge, and Driesenga protected the lead with two innings of relief.
Sophomore Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modeno) earned the win after tossing five innings. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. Five of Iowa's six runs were charged to Wagner.
The Maize and Blue will play a non-conference game on Tuesday (April 23) against Central Michigan at the Wilpon Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423