U-M Falls Behind Early, Drops Super Regional Opener at Alabama
Ashley Lane

May 24, 2012

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Site: Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Rhoads Stadium)
Event: Super Regional (Game 1)
Score: #3 Alabama 4, #21 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (42-16), UA (54-7)
Next U-M Event: Friday, May 25 -- at Alabama - NCAA Super Regional Game 2 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 3:30 p.m. CDT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 21-ranked University of Michigan softball team fell behind by four before dropping a 4-1 contest at No. 3-ranked Alabama in the first game of the NCAA Super Regional on Thursday night (May 24) at Rhoads Stadium

Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) was charged the loss, throwing 6.0 innings while giving up four runs -- two earned -- and striking out two. Sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco), junior second baseman Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido) and senior centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) each tallied a hit as Michigan managed just three hits on the contest.

Alabama scored first, plating a run in the second inning on a double down the leftfield line. Cassie Reilly-Boccia drew a one-out walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch from Wagner. Courtney Conley followed with a double that landed just fair down the leftfield line to stake the home team the early 1-0 lead.

The Crimson Tide increased the lead to four with three runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Kayla Braud reached on an error and moved up to second on a single to third base. Kaila Hunt knocked a double down the leftfield line for two tallies and a 3-0 lead. Hunt crossed home plate for Alabama's third run of the inning off a Jazlyn Lunceford single up the middle as the Crimson Tide went on top, 4-0.

Michigan got on the board with a run in the sixth inning after Sappingfield drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a fielder's choice from freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville). Lane doubled to the wall in left-center and Sappingfield came around to score to cut the Alabama lead to 4-1.

In the seventh, sophomore catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) reached on an error by the shortstop. Evans followed with a two-out single to left, giving Michigan runners at first and second with Sappingfield up to bat. However, the sophomore struck out swinging to end the game.

The two teams will square off tomorrow (Friday, May 25) in the second game of the best-of-three series at 3:30 p.m. CDT, with the if-necessary game slated for 6 p.m. CDT.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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