Wolverines Falter Late in Extra-Inning Loss to Illinois
Sara Driesenga

April 28, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Score: Illinois 5, #22 Michigan 1 (8 inn.)
Records: U-M (32-14, 12-4 Big Ten), ILL (22-22, 6-10 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 29 -- vs. Illinois - doubleheader (Wilpon Complex), 1 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan softball team gave up five runs in the eighth inning in a 5-1, eight-inning loss to Illinois on Saturday afternoon (April 28) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The teams played seven scoreless innings before combining for six runs in the final frame.

Freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) was charged the loss in the circle, throwing 6.0 innings of relief and giving up five runs on six hits with four strikeouts. The Michigan offense struggled, accumulating just six hits and leaving 14 runners on base. Senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) and sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) each collected two hits, with senior first baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) and freshman catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) each going for one.

After the Wolverines got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, Evans led off the bottom half with a walk. Following Sappingfield's fielder's choice and Chidester's single to the shortstop, U-M had runners at first and second with just one out. The next two batters popped up and struck out as the teams remained scoreless heading to the sixth.

The Illini led off with back-to-back singles in the sixth, before the third batter lined into a double play that left the lead runner out at second. After a Michigan error prolonged the inning, Driensenga retired the side when the batter popped up to third base.

With the teams still deadlocked in the scoreless game, Evans led off the seventh with a double to left-center. Chidester was intentionally walked with one out, giving Driesenga runners at first and second. The freshman flied out to leftfield, followed by junior second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) drawing a walk to load the bases. Junior shortstop Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) flied out to leftfield for the final out as the teams headed to extra innings.

Illinois broke through in the eighth, scoring five runs on four hits, including a three-run homer by Jess Perkins for a 5-0 lead.

Sweet singled to rightfield with one out in the eighth, moving to second on a groundout that accounted for the Wolverines' second out of the frame. Evans picked up her second hit of the contest with a single up the middle and Sweet crossed home for Michigan's only run of the game when Sappingfield singled to the shortstop. The game ended when Chidester popped up to the shortstop as Illinois took the 5-1 win.

The teams will conclude the series tomorrow (Sunday, April 29) with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex. Originally scheduled for just one game tomorrow, tickets purchased for today's scheduled doubleheader do not provide admission for the games played on Sunday. If you have questions, please email mtickets@umich.edu.


• Michigan leads the all-time series against Illinois, 18-4. Prior to today's loss, the Wolverines had won eight in a row over Illinois.

• Today was originally scheduled for a doubleheader. With the rain and cold temperatures, the teams played one game today and will now play a doubleheader tomorrow (Sunday, April 29).

• Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner had her shortest outing (2.0 innings pitched) since throwing just 0.1 innings against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 25.

• U-M has played in back-to-back extra inning contests. Prior to last Sunday's (April 22) 10-inning win at Minnesota, the Wolverines had not played in an extra-inning game this season.

Sara Driesenga and Amanda Chidester have each reached base safely in the last 20 games.

• Michigan is now 7-2 at home this season. It was U-M's first Big Ten loss at the Wilpon Complex in 2012.

• Today's game appeared live on the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines are now 1-1 on the BTN.

• Illinois had not won in Ann Arbor since a 4-0 decision on April 28, 2003.

Bree Evans recorded her team-leading 14th multi-hit game this season with two base hits.

Sara Driesenga hit out of the No. 4 spot for the second consecutive game.

• Michigan left a season-high 14 runners on base.

• The Wolverines issued a season-high eight walks.

• Michigan recorded its 13th double play of the season with a 5-8 double play at second base in the sixth inning.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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