Michigan advances to super regionals with 3-1 victory against California
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sophomore Sara Driesenga stymied the California Golden Bears for the second day in a row, hurling a complete game in Michigan's 3-1, NCAA Regional title victory on Sunday at Alumni Field.
Driesenga tossed her third consecutive complete game of the tournament, pitching every inning for the Wolverines in their three victories. She yielded just one run in 21 innings of work. Cal's only run on Sunday came off a Cheyenne Cordes solo home run in the third inning.
The NCAA Regional championship is Michigan's second in a row and 16th overall. The Maize and Blue will appear in the NCAA Super Regional for the eighth time in nine seasons since the format began in 2005.
In a scoreless game in the second inning, Cal's Danielle Henderson tried to stretch a double into a triple, but was thrown out on the relay from junior rightfielder Nicole Sappingfield to senior second baseman Ashley Lane to senior third baseman Amy Knapp.
Knapp had five assists on the 10 ground ball outs Driesenga induced and made a clean pick on a hot shot from Cordes leading off the bottom of the first.
After striking out eight Cal hitters in her shutout on Saturday, Driesenga did not get her first strike out until the fourth inning, but racked up five in the final half of the game, including two in the fifth and in the seventh.
A two-out, two-run double from freshman Sierra Romero opened the scoring. Junior Lyndsay Doyle, who reached on one of her three hits on the day, and Sappingfield came around to score.
Cordes hit her home run the next half inning, cutting Michigan's lead in half. The score stayed that way until the sixth when junior Caitlin Blanchard hit a leadoff, line-drive home run.
Cal threatened once more when two batters reached in the seventh. There was some controversy when Cal's Britt Vonk collided with Lane as she dove for a ground ball. The umpires ruled obstruction on Lane and awarded Vonk second base.
With two outs and two on, Cordes came up to bat, but Driesenga got her to fly out to right and end the game.
The Wolverines will next play in a Super Regional against Louisiana-Lafayette.