No. 16 Michigan beats UCLA, Auburn
Wolverines run past Bruins, hand Tigers first loss of season
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- No. 16-ranked Michigan softball team scored four unanswered runs to rally past No. 14 UCLA, 5-3, and hit two home runs to knock off No. 19 Auburn, 4-0, in the Citrus Classic on Friday at the ESPN Softball Diamondplex.
Freshman LHP Haylie Wagner picked up the win in relief against the Bruins, pitching out of a bases loaded jam with just one out in the fifth. Wagner, a lefty, threw 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one. Michigan totaled 10 hits in the contest, paced by a 3-for-3 performance by senior centerfielder Bree Evans and two runs batted in by senior third baseman Amanda Chidester.
UCLA scored a run in the first and the second innings to take a 2-0 lead before U-M got a run back in the third. Junior second baseman Amy Knapp led off the inning with a single to third base, advancing to second on a chopper to short. Evans looped one over the second baseman's head to score Knapp from second as UCLA's lead was cut in half at 2-1.
The Bruins plated another run in the top of the fifth inning, extending their lead to 3-1. In the bottom half of the inning, U-M loaded the bases on an error from the third baseman and back-to-back singles. Chidester's fly ball was caught at the wall, allowing sophomore outfielder Lyndsay Doyle to score from third. Following a walk and a fielder's choice to load the bases with two, freshman catcher Lauren Sweet took a ball on a full count, walking in the tying run to make it 3-3.
With two out in the sixth, Evans singled up the middle and then stole second during sophomore outfielder Nicole Sappingfield's at-bat. Facing a full count, Sappingfield singled to left center and head coach Carol Hutchins waved Evans home from second. Evans avoided the initial tag but missed the plate, beating the catcher to plate on her second attempt to hit home for Michigan's fourth run of the contest. Chidester singled to left during the next at-bat, easily scoring Sappingfield from second and pushing Michigan's lead to 5-3.
UCLA went down in order in the seventh, as Michigan came away with the 5-3 win.
In the night's second contest against Auburn, the Wolverines hit two home runs and had five total hits between Wagner and senior third baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick. Each hit a solo home run as Kirkpatrick had three hits and Wagner had two on the evening. Wagner also picked up the win, pitching all 7.0 innings without allowing a run on four hits.
Wagner broke up a scoreless game in the fourth inning against Auburn, hitting a home run to left field as Michigan took a 1-0 nothing advantage. The Wolverines increased their lead to 2-0 when Kirkpatrick knocked a homer to left center to lead off the fifth inning.
The Maize and Blue took advantage of two Auburn errors in the top of the seventh, adding two more runs for a 4-0 lead. Auburn did not score in the bottom half as the Tigers suffered their first loss of the season.