April 29, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Scores: #22 Michigan 2, Illinois 1; Illinois 2, #22 Michigan 0
Records: U-M (33-5, 13-5 Big Ten), ILL (23-23, 7-11 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, May 1 -- vs. Eastern Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 22-ranked University of Michigan softball team won the first game of a doubleheader, 2-1, over Illinois before falling, 2-0, in the second contest on Sunday afternoon (April 29) at the Wilpon Complex.
Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) earned the win in the first game, pitching 6.1 innings and giving up one run on seven hits with one strikeout. Freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) picked up her third save of the season, throwing 0.2 innings of hitless relief in the seventh with two runners on base. Wagner accounted for both of Michigan's runs in the contest, hitting a two-run roundtripper in the fourth inning.
After Driesenga drew a walk to start the fourth, she was lifted for junior pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota), who was successfully sacrificed over to second base by junior second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) to bring up Wagner. With a full count, Wagner drove a pitch over the wall in leftfield, but it was just foul. On the next pitch, the freshman belted her third home run of the year over the wall in rightfield to stake Michigan a 2-0 lead.
Illinois led off the seventh with a home run to cut the Michigan advantage to a run at 2-1. Following a walk and a single, Driensenga came into pitch for Wagner. Two consecutive fielder's choices ended the game as the Wolverines held on for the 2-1 win.
Driesenga was charged the loss in the day's second contest, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up an unearned run on four hits. Wagner threw 3.2 innings of relief and was held accountable for the second run, which was scored on a wild pitch. The Wolverine offense was once again held in check, totaling just four hits while leaving eight runners stranded. Senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) went 2-for-4 at the plate, with senior first baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) and sophomore catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) accounting for the other two hits.
Illinois got on the board in the second inning, scoring a run on a fielder's choice when Chidester's throw to freshman catcher Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) was not in time.
The Illini lead increased to 2-0 in the fourth inning as Jess Perkins led off with a double, advanced to third on a dropped third strike by Sweet and scored during the ensuing at-bat when Wagner's pitch was in the dirt and hit the backstop.
Michigan's best chance to break through came in the fifth when Blanchard led off with a pinch-hit single. Sophomore pinch runner Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) came in for Blanchard, advancing to second on a successful sacrifice. Evans followed with a single to give the Wolverines runners on the corners with just one out. A strikeout followed by a fielder's choice to the shortstop ended the inning with the Illini still holding a 2-0 lead.
The Orange and Blue left two runners stranded in both the sixth and seventh innings to give Michigan a chance in the final frame. Sweet led off with a walk and advanced to second base when Evans grounded out to the first baseman. With a runner in scoring position and two out, sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) grounded out to second base to end the game.
Michigan wraps up its four-game homestand on Tuesday (May 1), hosting Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex. The contest is Military Appreciation Night.
N O T E S
Michigan is now 19-5 all-time against Illinois.
Caitlin Blanchard recorded her first hit since going 1-for-2 against UCLA on March 2. Blanchard had been limited due to injury. She is the third Wolverine to record a pinch hit this season (Haylie Wagner, Taylor Hasselbach).
Haylie Wagner has three home runs on the season. Each of her home runs has provided the winning run in the contest. Her home run was the first run in a 4-0 win over Auburn on March 2 and she hit a solo home run in last weekend's 5-3 win at Minnesota. Her homer was the fourth run of the contest.
Haylie Wagner recorded her third contest of the season with two RBI.
Michigan hit .208 on the weekend and left 29 runners on base over the three-game series.
Sara Driesenga picked up her third save of the season in the first game. Her last save came at Indiana on March 31.
Amanda Chidester hit out of the No. 2 spot for the first time this season in the day's first game.
Michigan is now 5-12 when failing to score more than two runs.
U-M is 8-3 this season at the Wilpon Complex.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423