Driesenga's Walk-Off Double Propels U-M Past Wildcats in Regional
Sara Driesenga

May 18, 2012

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Michigan NCAA Central

Site: Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
Event: NCAA Regional (First Round)
Score: #21 Michigan 3, Kentucky 2
Records: U-M (40-15), UK (29-29)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 19 -- vs. Louisville or Valparaiso (Louisville, Ky.), 3 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Facing a 3-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) doubled down the left-field line to score two runs as the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan softball team rallied for a 3-2 win over Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Regional on Friday (May 18) at Ulmer Stadium.

Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) was the victorious pitcher, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four. The U-M offense totaled seven hits, including a two-double effort from junior shortstop Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore). Five other Wolverines tallied a hit in the contest.

After Kentucky scored two runs in the seventh to take a 2-1 lead, Michigan responded with two runs in the bottom half for the walk-off win. Sophomore outfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) led off the frame with a single up the middle and after a fielder's choice, sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) hit a chopper up the middle to give Michigan two baserunners with just one out. Senior first baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini) fouled out in left field to bring Driesenga to the plate. After three straight balls, the freshman took two strikes for the full count. After fouling off the sixth pitch of the at-bat, Driesenga hit one down the leftfield line that landed just fair and rolled to the fence to score two runs for the victory.

UK took the lead in the top of the seventh, leading off with a single and putting runners on the corners with just one out. The next batter struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Wildcats pushed the tying run across on a fielder's choice to the shortstop. An error by Knapp during the ensuing at-bat allowed Kentucky to take a 2-1 lead.

Michigan broke through with a run in the fourth inning on a single by senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central). Wagner was hit by a pitch with one out and was lifted on the base path for junior pinch runner Jaclyn Crummey (Macomb, Mich./Dakota), who stole second to move into scoring position and crossed home safely on Kirkpatrick's single through the left side to put U-M up 1-0.

Michigan will square off against the winner of the Louisville-Valparaiso game tomorrow (Saturday, May 19) at 3 p.m. The NCAA Regional is a double-elimination event.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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