Wolverines Succumb to Alabama Rally to Lose Super Regional
Amanda Chidester

May 25, 2012

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Site: Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Rhoads Stadium)
Event: Super Regional (Game 2)
Score: #3 Alabama 4, #21 Michigan 3
Records: U-M (42-17), UA (55-7)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 21-ranked University of Michigan softball team jumped out to a 3-1 lead after two innings, but No. 3 Alabama scored three unanswered runs to win the second game of the NCAA Super Regional, 4-3, on Friday afternoon (May 25) at Rhoads Stadium. The loss eliminated Michigan from the NCAA Tournament.

Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) picked up the loss after hurling all 7.0 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Five different Wolverines tallied hits in the contest, with each of Michigan's seniors -- first baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini), centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto) and third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick (Plainfield, Ill./Central) -- recording a run batted in.

Michigan went on top early as Chidester belted her 10th home run of the season to put Michigan up, 1-0, after one inning of play.

The Crimson Tide knotted the game at 1-1 in the ensuing inning, taking advantage of a leadoff single and a Wagner error. Jazlyn Lunceford led off with a single up the middle and slid in safely at second on the Wagner throwing error. A successful sacrifice bunt pushed her to third and she scored on the sacrifice fly to right.

Michigan tacked on a pair of two-out runs in the second inning for a 3-1 lead. Freshman RHP Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on an error by the catcher with two outs. Kirkpatrick dribbled one back up the middle and Driesenga motored around from second to account for Michigan's second run of the game. Sophomore outfielder Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and Evans then chopped one up the middle just out of the reach of the second baseman for another run as Michigan took the two-run lead.

Neither team crossed the plate again until Alabama pushed two across on a two-run home run in the fifth to tie the contest at 3-3. Wagner issued back-to-back walks with two outs, but forced a foul out to sophomore catcher Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) behind the plate to get out of the inning.

Alabama took its first lead of the game with a triple that landed just fair down the first-base line, scoring the runner from second for the 4-3 advantage.

Michigan was down to its final chance in the seventh inning and Kirkpatrick drew a walk to open the frame, moving to second on the successful sacrifice from Doyle. Evans grounded out and sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) followed with a strikeout as Alabama punched its ticket to the Women's College World Series.

Michigan completes its season with a 42-17 overall record and won its fifth straight conference title.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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