Six runs in final two innings propel Michigan to victory against BC
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Sixth-ranked Michigan plated six runs in the final two innings against Boston College on Sunday to erase a four-run deficit and go on to win 6-5 in the final day of the Ragin' Cajun Invitational held at Lamson Park.
Michigan's rally began in the top of the sixth with two outs. Senior Caitlin Blanchard ripped a bases-loaded single into right field to score two runs, cutting the Eagles' lead in half, 4-2.
The Wolverines loaded the bases to start the seventh with consecutive singles from junior Haylie Wagner and senior Taylor Hasselbach, followed by junior Lauren Sweet reaching on a BC error. The Maize and Blue was down to its final out by the time senior Nicole Sappingfield took a walk to force in a run, making the game 4-3.
The bases were still loaded for the next batter, sophomore Sierra Romero, who promptly cleared them with a single and an Eagles throwing error, and U-M had its first lead of the game, 6-4.
Michigan's offense was held in check until the sixth inning when senior Lyndsay Doyle collected the squad's first hit of the game. Romero finished with two hits and two runs batted in, and Sappingfield scored two runs.
U-M used three pitchers in the circle, with the win going to Wagner in relief. She pitched one inning and gave up one hit. Junior Sara Driesenga started the game and threw four innings before taken out, but she also came back to pitch the seventh inning and preserve the U-M victory.
No. 1 Tennessee 10, Wright State 2
TAMPA, Fla. -- Hannah Akamine had three RBIs, including a two-run home run, Tennessee ripped through Wright State 10-2 on Sunday in its final game of the USF tournament.
Tennessee (9-0) scored three in the first, one in the second and two in the third before finishing the game with a four-run fifth inning to ice the game. The win makes the Lady Vols 6-0 all-time against the Raiders (0-5) and continues their perfect start to the season.
The victory also marks only the fifth time Tennessee has started 9-0. UT's best starts to the season include opening 12-0 in 2013, 8-0 in 2008, 23-0 in 2007, 24-0 in 2006 and 16-0 in 2005.
Akamine went 2-for-3 at the plate in her first career start at third base. Annie Aldrete also had an impressive game, finishing 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Melissa Davin had two hits and a solo shot to lead off the fifth inning.
Erin Gabriel (2-0) struck out two in 3.2 innings, giving up only two runs. Rainey Gaffin gave the Lady Vols 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Wright State's Montana Wear pitched 4.1 innings and gave up 10 runs on 11 Lady Vols hits.
No. 2 Florida 15, No. 22 Minnesota 2 (6 innings)
LAS VEGAS -- Florida completed a perfect weekend at the Easton Desert Classic on Sunday, defeating No. 22 Minnesota 15-2 in six innings.
Florida (11-0) got its offense rolling with four runs in the third inning. Kelsey Stewart singled to center and stole second, then advanced to third on Kirsti Merritt’s sacrifice bunt. When no one covered the plate for Minnesota, Stewart came home with the Gators’ first run. After Lauren Haeger walked, the Orange and Blue got a two-run single from Stephanie Tofft, who then scored on a throwing error on Aubree Munro’s infield hit.
The Gators plated three more runs in the fourth after Stewart reached on a bunt single, Merritt walked and Bailey Castro got on via a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Taylor Schwarz brought all three runners home with a double to center that increased the Florida lead to 7-0.
Minnesota got two runs back in the bottom of the frame when Delanie Gourley (W, 4-0) allowed an RBI single, and another run came home when the Gopher runner beat Schwarz’ throw to the plate on a fielder’s choice.
In the sixth, Merritt was hit by a pitch before Haeger blasted a two-run home run to push the Gators’ lead to 9-2. After Castro singled, pinch-runner Jessica Damico stole second and went to third on a Schwarz single. Tofft drove home Damico with a single to right, and then Tofft and Schwarz scored on Munro’s double to give the Gators a 10-run advantage at 12-2. Justine McLean’s triple to left plated Francesca Martinez, who pinch-ran for Munro. Two batters later, Chelsea Herndon hit a home run as a pinch-hitter for Merritt, driving in McLean to produce the final margin.
UF Head Coach Tim Walton brought in Hannah Rogers for the final two innings, and the senior tossed a pair of scoreless frames to preserve the win for the Gators, who completed a tournament with a perfect record for the second consecutive weekend.
No. 3 Washington 3, No. 11 Oklahoma 1
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Washington put together one of its most complete games of the season in defeating 2013 National Champions and the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners 3-1 on Sunday at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
The Huskies (10-0) got 7.0 innings from Bryana Walker, who struck out a career-high 14 batters, and held the Sooners (5-4) to just three hits. Walker’s previous high for strikeouts was 13, set on May 17, 2013 vs. Portland State. The 14 strikeouts for the Sooners was their most this season.
“Bryana’s a very strategic pitcher,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “She knows what she needs to throw to certain hitters. She was throwing a pretty good game. She was dominant today.”
Walker (6-0) was making her fourth consecutive start in the circle and earned her 26th career complete-game and her fourth already this season.
No. 4 Alabama 9, New Mexico 1 (5 innings)
The Alabama offense had another explosive performance, with six of the team's nine starters earning at least one hit. For the second time during the weekend, the Crimson Tide had multiple home runs, including a two-run shot by Kallie Case, her first long ball of the season.
Sydney Littlejohn (3-0) had another stellar outing in the circle, allowing just one unearned run and three hits with four strikeouts.
New Mexico suffers its seventh consecutive loss, with starter Tess McPherson (0-2) taking the loss after throwing just 0.1 innings with six runs allowed.
The Lobos scored first, giving the Tide its first deficit of the season. With runners at the corners in the top of the first, the Alabama defense caught the runner at third in a rundown but the ball was dropped on the tag attempt, allowing her to score off the fielding error. The Tide limited the damage to one run, stranding a runner at third to escape the half-inning trailing 1-0.
The Lobos' lead didn't last long, as Haylie McCleney led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer to tie the game at 1-1. Kaila Hunt gave Alabama the lead with an RBI double and later in the inning with the bases loaded, a throwing error allowed three to score and Case to stretch all the way to third as the lead swelled to 5-1. Case came home off a dropped third strike as the Tide ended the first inning with a 6-1 lead.
Danae Hays stretched Alabama's lead to 7-1 in the third inning with a solo home run off the batter's eye in center field. Marisa Runyon followed that with a single to set up Case for a high opposite-field homer that stretched the Tide's lead to 9-1. Littlejohn would hold the Tide's lead in the remaining two innings, as Alabama earned its fifth run-rule victory of the young season.
No. 24 Arizona 8, No. 4 Alabama 0 (5 innings)
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona handed fourth-ranked Alabama its second consecutive loss, as the Wildcats defeated the Crimson Tide 8-0 in five innings Sunday at the Hillenbrand Invitational.
Alabama (8-2) suffered its second consecutive loss and its first five-inning loss since the 2011 Women’s College World Series against Florida. It’s the first regular-season run rule loss since Valentine’s Day in 2010 against Missouri. The Tide was limited to a season-low two hits, though Haylie McCleney accounted for one of those, as she has reached base safely in every game so far this season. Leslie Jury (3-1) took the loss in the circle, lasting just 1.2 innings with two hits allowed, six walks and six earned runs.
Arizona (8-0) remains undefeated after another great all-around performance, as they jumped on Alabama early with six runs in the first two innings, while starter Shelby Babcock (2-0) went the distance with a two-hit shutout.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, the Wildcats struck first with a two-out grand slam by Mo Mercado to pull ahead 4-0. Arizona loaded the bases again with two out in the bottom of the second, as a bases-loaded walk plated another to make it 5-0 which ended the day for Jury in the circle. Sydney Littlejohn entered to pitch and another bases-loaded walk made it 6-0 but an infield popup stopped the bleeding as Alabama trailed by six after two innings.
The score remained 6-0 until the bottom of the fourth, as Arizona plated a pair of runs with two outs to move ahead 8-0, forcing Alabama into a must-score position in the top of the fifth. Alabama managed to draw a two-out walk but could not get her across to force another inning, as Arizona held on for the five-inning victory.
No. 7 Kentucky 6, No. 15 Texas 5
AUSTIN, Texas -- Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince tossed three scoreless innings in relief to grab her second win of the season, while senior Lauren Cumbess recorded a multiple-hit game with a three-run homer, as No. 7 Kentucky defeated No. 15 Texas 6-5 on Sunday to win the Texas Classic Championship at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.
The win for Kentucky (10-0) continues its unblemished start, extending the program-best start to a season.
Cumbess started the game in the circle, going four innings and allowing five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Prince relieved Cumbess in the fifth inning and threw three scoreless innings the rest of the way to claim the win. She allowed four hits in the game with three strikeouts. The win moves Prince’s record to 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA, striking out 12 batters in 13 innings pitched. Cumbess, who threw a no-hitter to start the weekend against Louisiana Tech, got a no decision and is 2-0 on the year with a 2.81 ERA.
Offensively, Cumbess paced Kentucky going 2-for-4 with three RBI, including her first home run of the season. Seniors Ginny Carroll, Krystal Smith and Emily Jolly each recorded hits, with Carroll launching her second home run of the season, while Jolly earned an RBI and Smith doubled for the first time this season. Sophomore Sylver Samuel went 1-for-2 in the game with her first double of the season and a run scored, while junior catcher Griffin Joiner did not have an official at-bat in the game, drawing four four-pitch walks. Joiner’s nine-game hitting streak to open the season is still alive since she did not have an official at bat.
Tulsa 5, No. 8 Texas A&M 2
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Senior Aimee Creger recorded 11 strikeouts and junior Erica Sampson homered and drove in three runs to lead the Tulsa softball team to a 5-2 win against No. 8 Texas A&M at the Aggie Classic Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Golden Hurricane (9-1) scored all five runs in the first two frames, boosted by the two-run shot from Sampson in the first inning. Creger improved to 4-0 after allowing two earned runs on four hits and four walks in 6.0 innings. Bailey Erwin pitched a perfect seventh to pick up her second save of the weekend.
Freshman designated player Jill Roye singled twice and drove in a run, and senior right fielder Haley Henshaw hit an RBI double. Senior third baseman Jill Barrett walked twice and score two runs, and Henshaw and sophomore catcher Catherine Horner each scored once. Rachel Fox (3-1) allowed all five earned runs in 1.1 innings, and took the loss for the Aggies (9-2).
The Hurricane earned its second win in two tries against a ranked opponent this season. On Feb. 8, Tulsa beat Louisville, which was ranked 18th at the time, 4-0. The Golden Hurricane completed a 5-0 weekend, including its victory over the Aggies. TU also picked up wins over Oregon State, 9-1 and 4-0, and McNeese State, 5-4 (8 inn.) and 3-2.
"[Scoring the runs early] was a key, because it allowed us to pitch and play from in front," Tulsa head coach John Bargfeldt said. "They still put some pressure on us. Aimee, pitching her third day in a row, had to labor quite a bit trying to find the strike zone. She just battled and kept working through it. It's good to jump on the board early against anybody, but especially when you're trying to knock off a ranked team."
No. 9 Nebraska 7, Sam Houston State 1
HOUSTON, Texas -- Taylor Edwards hit a pair of home runs and Emily Lockman pitched another gem in the circle, as Nebraska defeated Sam Houston State 7-1 on Sunday.
Edwards posted the second multi-homer game of her career, slugging two-run homers in the fourth and sixth innings. She finished 2-for-3 with a season-high four RBIs, while extending her hitting streak to a career-best 12 games.
With Edwards providing the offense, Lockman capped a stellar weekend with her third consecutive victory. Lockman (4-1) tossed 6.0 innings against the Bearkats and picked up the victory, allowing one run on just two hits. On the weekend, Lockman went 3-0 with a 0.30 ERA in 23.0 innings. She posted shutouts in two of her three starts and opponents hit just .103 against her. Sophomore Danica Bishop made her season debut in relief, pitching a scoreless seventh inning while working around a two-out walk.
Behind a strong pitching effort, Nebraska finished 4-1 at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic to improve to 7-2 on the season. The Huskers dropped one game in Houston despite outscoring their opponents 20-3 on the weekend.
No. 10 Oregon 12, Cal State Northridge 1 (5 innings)
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Oregon belted four home runs as the Ducks won for the ninth consecutive time 12-1 against Cal State Northridge in five innings on Sunday in the final game of the Easton Desert Classic.
The Ducks (9-1) run ruled three teams in their five games this weekend at the tournament hosted by UNLV. Overall, the Ducks have run ruled five teams in 10 total games.
"We saw the ball very well today," said head coach. "We hit a bunch of opposite field home runs and extra base hits today. We were patient and had a lot of people contribute."