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Michigan Athletics | March 15, 2014

Hit barrage gives No. 8 Michigan run-rule sweep against Kent St., Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Eighth-ranked University of Michigan pounded out 25 hits and scored 21 runs to win two games by run rule on Saturday, topping Kent State, 12-4, in the first game and triumphing over Louisville, 9-1, in the second at the Class Act Federal Credit Union Classic held at Ulmer Stadium.

In the first game against Kent State, the Wolverines scored in every inning except for the second, and senior Taylor Hasselbach provided the offensive thump with a career day. She got the scoring started with a bases-loaded double in the first, plating all three runners. She continued to produce runs in just her fifth start of the season, adding a run with a sacrifice fly in the third and driving in her fifth run of the day in the next inning with another double.

Hasselbach finished the game 3-for-3 with career bests of five runs batted in and two doubles. In the 22 games of 2014 prior to the Kent State game, Michigan had gotten six RBI from the six spot in the lineup. Hasselbach nearly equaled that with her five RBI from the six hole today.

Senior Nicole Sappingfield, sophomore Sierra Lawrence and freshman Lindsay Montemarano all joined in on the hit parade with career performances. Sappingfield tied a career high with four hits, Lawrence matched her career high with three hits, and Montemarano had a pair of hits for the first two-hit game of her career.

Freshman Megan Betsa picked up her sixth win of the season. She pitched 4.1 innings and struck out six, including the side in the first. Junior Sara Driesenga tossed the final 1.2 innings without allowing a run.

In the second game against tournament host Louisville, the Wolverines used a five-run fifth inning to pull away from the Cardinals. Louisville intentionally walked sophomore Sierra Romero with first base open and one out. Senior Caitlin Blanchard responded with a shot into left-center that plated two runs. Blanchard is now 2-for-2 with four RBI following a Romero intentional walk in 2014.

The next batter, Lawrence, crushed a three-run homer to left. Her third round-tripper of the year made it a 7-0 game.

The Maize and Blue hit four home runs in the game, including a Hasselbach solo shot in the second and back-to-back solo homers from Romero and freshman Kelly Christner in the sixth. Christner's home run was the first of her collegiate career.

Overshadowed by the offensive bombardment was the pitching performance of junior lefthander Haylie Wagner, who earned her 12th win of the season. The southpaw scattered five hits over six innings to earn in the win. Thirteen of Louisville's 18 outs came on groundouts, and Wagner struck out three.

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