Michigan headed to OKC after clinching Game 3 with 2-1 outing vs. La.-Lafayette
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Ashley Lane roped a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving No. 7-ranked Michigan the only two runs it needed to defeat No. 21 Louisiana Lafayette 2-1 Saturday in the deciding Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional and clinch a spot in the Women's College World Series. Louisiana forced Game 3 with a 5-0 win in the Game 2 of the best-of-three series held at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field.
Michigan will make its 10th appearance in the WCWS and first since 2009.
This marked the second game in the three-game set that Lane drove in the winning runs. She hit a two-run walkoff homer in Game 1 on Friday.
Michigan put runners on in every inning but did not plate its runs until the fifth. With two outs freshman Sierra Romero was hit by a pitch - the sixth consecutive time she reached base in Saturday's doubleheader. Junior Caitlin Blanchard bounced a single into right field that moved Romero into scoring position. Lane followed with her double that would eventually win the game.
Sophomore right hander Sara Driesenga made the two runs stand up in the final two innings. She got notice that she was starting just minutes before the game. Head coach Carol Hutchins was forced to scratch sophomore Haylie Wagner due to an injury after the lineup was turned into the umpires. Driesenga pitched a complete game and only allowed one unearned run. The Ragin' Cajuns scored their run in the fourth inning on a hit, walk and U-M error.
ULL loaded the bases in the fifth, the only time Dreisenga found herself in trouble other than the fourth. Romero caught a liner to end the threat and then started Michigan's rally in the bottom of the inning. After Lane's RBI double, Driesenga needed just 10 pitches to get through the sixth. She set down seven Ragin' Cajuns consecutively to end the game.
Driesenga earned her 30th win of the season by striking out seven and yielding four hits. Lane knocked in Michigan's only runs, and Blanchard and senior Amy Knapp each had two hits in the final game.
The Wolverines were held scoreless in Game 2 behind seven innings from Louisiana's Jordan Wallace. The sophomore hurler threw every pitch for the Ragin' Cajuns in the three-game series.
Sophomore left handed pitcher Haylie Wagner started Game 1 for the Wolverines and kept the Ragin' Cajuns off the board through three innings. With two on in the first, she caught a shot right back to her and doubled off the Louisiana runner at first to end the inning. That was the first of two double plays the defense would turn.
Wagner was relieved in the fourth inning by Driesenga. The Ragin' Cajuns scored three times in their half of the inning on a two-run homer and a solo shot. In the sixth inning Blanchard snagged a liner and doubled off a Louisiana runner for an unassisted double play.
Michigan was hitless until the fifth when junior Nicole Sappingfield and Romero registered back-to-back singles.
Louisiana added two more runs in the sixth inning on Sarah Draheim's second home run of the game and a U-M error.