Driesenga Deals Another Shutout, U-M Reaches Regional Final
Sara Driesenga

May 18, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Wilpon Complex)
Event: NCAA Regional (Day 2)
Score: #7 Michigan 5, #18 California 0
Records: U-M (47-10), California (37-18)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, May 19 -- vs. TBD - NCAA Regional final (Wilpon Complex), 1 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For the second consecutive day, sophomore pitcher Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) tossed a complete-game shutout as the No. 7 University of Michigan softball team blanked No. 18-ranked California, 5-0, today (Saturday, May 18) in an NCAA Regional game at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The Wolverines move into the final day of competition with a 2-0 record in the double-elimination tournament.

The righty yielded just five hits over her seven innings of work. She struck out eight batters, the seventh time this season she has set down eight or more in one game.

Driesenga worked out of two trouble spots in the middle of the game. The first Cal runner to reach third base came in the fourth inning following a fielder's choice and a base hit. Driesenga got the next hitter to fly out to left. The script was similar in the fifth, but this time with Cal runners on second and third. Again Driesenga got a fly out to left to end the threat.

Michigan took advantage of a few California miscues in the bottom of the second to pile up three runs. The Wolverines used one hit and two errors to push their runs across. It started with a bases-loaded grounder from freshman Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) that Cal's second baseman could not handle. The next batter, senior Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore), grounded out, but that was enough to bring sophomore Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) home. Michigan had a 2-0 lead but had not recorded a hit in the game.

That changed with the very next hitter when junior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) laced a liner down the leftfield line. Pinch runner Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) motored home with Michigan's third run, but Lawrence was gunned out at the plate. After two innings, the Wolverines had three runs and just one hit.

In the top of the fourth, the Maize and Blue needed just one hit to score another run, but this time it was Sweet belting her ninth home run of the season. Her leadoff homer sailed out to leftfield, an opposite-field shot and her first postseason homer. Sweet's home run knocked California's ace, Jolene Henderson (31 of Cal's 37 wins), out of the game.

Sweet was an equal-opportunity victimizer. She hit her second home run of the game -- and second leading off an inning -- in the sixth inning off reliever Nisa Ontiveros.

It is Driesenga's fourth complete-game shutout of the season and second in as many games. The starts yesterday (May 17 vs. Valparaiso) and today are the first two NCAA postseason starts of her career. She ended the game by stranding one more Cal runner on third on a bounce out to freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta).

The Wolverines return to action tomorrow (Sunday, May 19) vs. the winner of game five of today's regional at the Wilpon Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be carried on ESPN3.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 764-4423

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