Knapp goes combined 4-for-6, knocks in four as Michigan tops two top-15 foes
FULLERTON, Calif. -- No. 15 Michigan overcame deficits in two games to upend ranked foes Friday, beating No. 2 Arizona State 5-4 and run-ruling No. 14 Arizona 9-1 in six innings at the Judi Garman Classic.
In game one, the difference came in the top of the sixth inning, which included an out-of-order batter, an ASU error and one Michigan hit. Michigan trailed 4-3 when freshman Sierra Lawrence pinch hit for the wrong batter to lead off the frame. She was supposed to enter as the third batter in the inning, in the sixth spot in the lineup, but instead hit in the fourth spot. She fouled out to first, but the out was credited to sophomore Sara Driesenga, for whom Lawrence mistakenly batted for. Senior Ashley Lane walked and Lawrence batted again, this time correctly in the six hole. She laid down a sac bunt and ASU pitcher Dallas Escobedo made a bat throw to first. Lane ended up on third and Lawrence on second.
The big blow of the inning came from senior Amy Knapp, who batted seventh in the lineup for the first time this season. Knapp knocked a 1-1 pitch back up the middle, scoring Lane and Lawrence to put Michigan ahead for good 5-4.
The Sun Devils started the scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo homer. The Wolverines erased that two innings later. Lane hit a two-run homer, her sixth of the year, a line drive to right-center that gave Michigan its first lead 2-1.
ASU got three runs back in the bottom half of the fourth on four hits. Driesenga came on in relief of starter sophomore Haylie Wagner with two outs and got the final out.
Now facing a 4-2 deficit, senior Jaclyn Crummey, making her ninth start of the season, led off with a base hit to left and stole second. With two outs, junior Nicole Sappingfield roped a single to center, scoring Crummey.
Driesenga escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth following three ASU hits. She got the second out of the inning on a strike out, before Lane made a nice play to end the threat.
Once the Wolverines took the lead in the sixth, with a runner on second, Sappingfield charged in from left and slid just before she ran into the fence to haul in the second out. The following Sun Devil batter drilled a line drive into Driesenga's abdomen, and it rolled to Knapp, who threw a strike to first for the out.
Wagner re-entered in the bottom of the seventh to face ASU's 7-8-9 hitters. Despite the leadoff batter reaching second, she recorded the next three outs to earn her first save of the year. Driesenga picked up her 15th win.
Against No. 14 Arizona, the Wolverines spotted the Wildcats a 1-0 with an unearned run in the first.
In the fourth, junior Lyndsay Doyle led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Two pitches later, freshman Sierra Romero blasted a home run to left to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. It was her eighth homer of the season and third in four games at the Judi Garman Classic.
Driesenga restarted the offense with a walk. Knapp followed one out later with a triple, scoring junior Brandi Virgil, who was in to pinch run.
Michigan picked up one more run in the frame on a double from junior Caitlin Blanchard that plated Knapp to put the Wolverines up 4-1. In all, Michigan sent eight batters to the plate.
In the next inning, a Wildcat error, walk and infield hit from Sappingfield loaded the bases. Driesenga delivered a line-drive single into left-center that scored two, giving her 25 runs batted in on the season. One batter later, Knapp singled back up the middle to score Sappingfield and stretch the Michigan lead to six.
The Wolverine defense erased base runners in both the fifth and sixth innings with 5-4-3 double plays. Driesenga went six innings, allowing just four hits and striking out three.
A bases-loaded walk and passed ball ended the game in run-rule fashion.