Michigan softball's loss to Louisiana Lafayette sets up winner-take-all Super Regional final
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
- Update:Michigan softball team advances to College World Series with 2-1 win over Louisiana Lafayette
The winner advances to the Women's College World Series, the loser's season is over.
The Michigan softball team will play a winner-take-all third game on Saturday (3 p.m., ESPN) in its NCAA Super Regional against Louisiana Lafayette after falling 5-0 to the Ragin' Cajuns in game two of the series.
Michigan softball coach Carol "Hutch" Hutchins decided to pull starting pitcher Haylie Wagner after three shutout innings and the Louisiana Lafayette picked up where they left off on Friday. The Ragin' Cajuns broke a scoreless tie, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth after hitting two home runs off of Sara Driesenga. Driesenga, usually the No. 1 pitcher for the Wolverines, was pulled in the eighth inning on Friday after Louisiana Lafayette hit a pair of home runs late.
Michigan was designated the away team after winning the first game of the three-game series Friday night in dramatic fashion with a walk-off home run in the eighth inning. Driesenga entered the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on Saturday after Wagner had retired the last seven batters she faced. Driesenga gave up a solo home run to Sarah Draheim and later in the inning gave up a two-run home run to Sara Corbello. Draheim homered in the sixth inning as well.
After giving up just one run in three regional games the previous weekend and throwing six-and-two-thirds shutout innings on Friday, Driesenga had given up six runs and four home runs in her past one-and-two thirds innings after the fourth. Driesenga settled down after the fourth, but was able to Louisiana Lafayette added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning.
The Wolverines threatened at the top of the fifth, but left a pair of runners on base. It was Michigan's best chance to score since the top of the third inning when Nicole Sappingfield reached base on a walk and advanced to third after a fielding error on her steal attempt. Sierra Romero battled through a 10-pitch at-bat before eventually being walked, but with runners at first and third, Caitlin Blanchard flew out to right field and Louisiana Lafayette escaped the inning unscathed.
Lafayette pitcher Jordan Wallace picked up the complete game win allowing three hits and striking out 11 batters. It was Michigan's first home loss of the season.
The winner of Saturday's late game advances to the Women's College World Series May 30-June 5 in Oklahoma City.