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Michigan Athletics | March 7, 2014

No. 5 Michigan loses to unranked Houston before downing No. 7 Arizona

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Junior pitcher Haylie Wagner of No. 5 Michigan shut down the potent offense of the No. 7-ranked Arizona Wildcats in a 3-0 complete-game victory Friday in the second game of a doubleheader at the Judi Garman Classic held at Titans Field 2. Earlier in the day, U-M fell to Houston 5-2.

Wagner allowed four hits during seven innings to the Wildcats, a team that came into the contest batting .395 in 21 games. The southpaw never faced more than four batters in an inning and she faced just four batters over the minimum. Only one Wildcat reached second base -- Chelsea Suitos in the fourth inning. The junior induced 11 groundball outs and three pop-outs to infielders, while striking out one.

Michigan's defense helped the cause in the third with a bang-bang double play. Sophomore shortstop Sierra Romero caught a hot-shot liner and doubled off Arizona's runner at first. Freshman right fielder Kelly Christner also turned in a heads-up play in the field, when she gunned down a runner going from first to second in the seventh inning.

The Maize and Blue started the scoring in the second on a single from sophomore Sierra Lawrence that plated senior pinch runner Brandi Virgil.

Lawrence delivered again in the sixth during an inning ripe with sound fundamentals. Romero led off the inning and walked. Senior Caitlin Blanchard moved her to second with a sacrifice count. Then on a 1-2 count, Lawrence shortened up and smoked a single back up the middle. Romero charged home, but the throw beat her to the plate. A textbook hook slide got Romero around the catcher and her hand hit the plate before she was tagged for Michigan's second run.

Senior Nicole Sappingfield slashed a two-out single in the seventh to put the Maize and Blue up 3-0.

U-M halted a three-game skid with the win against Arizona. Wagner tossed her third shutout of the season and improved her record to 10-0.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Michigan outhit Houston 10-9, but the Cougars took the game 5-2. U-M scored first on a sacrifice fly by Blanchard in the first. The Cougars then scored twice in the first, once in the second and twice in the third to build a 5-1 lead. Both Houston runs in the third resulted from a Michigan throwing error.

Junior pitcher Sara Driesenga relieved starter Megan Betsa in the second and closed the game out for U-M. She pitched 4.1 innings, scattering five hits and was charged with two unearned runs.

Romero tallied three hits, including her fifth home run of the season. Senior Lyndsay Doyle, junior Lauren Sweet and sophomore Kelsey Susalla each collected a pair of hits.

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