Tag Archives: Softball

Michigan Ties Up Championship Series With Game 2 Win

2015 Women's College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)
2015 Women’s College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)

Michigan Ties Up Championship Series With Game 2 Win

The Michigan Wolverines won game two of the NCAA Softball Championship Series to force a decisive winner take all third game on Wednesday night. Michigan won 1-0 behind a complete game shutout by Haylie Wagner.

Florida went down in order to start the first inning while Michigan was able to get their lone run in the bottom of the first.

Sierra Lawrence led off with a single to left field to bring up Sierra Romero. Romero hit a slow ground ball to short, but Lawrence was able to beat the throw at second. After a bunt foul out from Kelly Christner, Kelsey Susalla hit a line drive single to center field, which was compounded by a bad hop in front of Kirsti Merritt. Lawrence was able to score on the bad bounce for a 1-0 Michigan lead. A fly out and line out left two runners stranded for the Wolverines.

The Gators had a chance to tie the game in the top of the second. Lauren Haeger hit a rocket ground ball to third for an infield single and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Taylore Fuller. Wagner was able to get Bailey Castro to strike out on a change up before a Taylor Schwarz single to shortstop put runners on the corners. Wagner ended the threat with a strike out to Aubree Munro.

Michigan tried to add an insurance run in the bottom of the second. Wagner began with a bloop single down the left field line and she was then pitch ran for with Mary Sbonek. A sacrifice bunt by Tera Blanco moved her up to second while Abby Ramirez grounded out to third to move her up to second with two outs. Lawrence was unable to bring Sbonek home as she struck out looking to end the second inning.

The Gators went down in order in the top of the third while Michigan was only able to get a two out walk from Susalla in the bottom of the inning, but she was left stranded.

The top of the fourth provided Florida with another opportunity to tie the game. Haeger hit a single up the middle when the shortstop could not corral the ball. Jessica Damico pinch ran for Haeger while Fuller put runners on first and second with a hard single to left center field. Wagner was able to get out of the jam by forcing a pop out to Castro and ground out by Schwarz.

In the fifth, Florida got a lead off single from Munro, but a line drive hit by Justine McLean to shortstop doubled up the Gators and Michigan still clung to a 1-0 lead. The Wolverines got a one out double from Lawrence in the bottom of the fifth before a controversial call. Romero hit a ground ball to short that threw her out at first, but the throw to third threw out Lawrence despite her not having a path to the base.

The top of the sixth saw the Gators put another runner on base. Kirsti Merritt hit a beautiful bunt single down the first base line and she later stole second after a Haeger pop out to move into scoring position. A line out to shortstop left a runner stranded again and one last chance for Florida.

The top of the seventh was not kind to the Gators faithful. They went down in order to not even give themselves hopes of tying the game with a baserunner.

Lauren Haeger pitched well in the loss. She went six innings giving up one run on four hits with one walk and one strike out.

Haylie Wagner pitched seven innings surrendering six hits with no walks and five strike outs.

Game three of the Championship Series will be at 8 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday night. The decisive game can be seen ESPN with the winner claiming their second National Championship in Women’s softball.

Florida Takes NCAA Softball Championship Series Game 1

2015 Women's College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)
2015 Women’s College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)

Florida Takes NCAA Softball Championship Series Game 1

Lauren Haeger was the reason for Florida’s 3-2 win over Michigan and she did not even see the pitching circle. She accounted for all three runs batted in including a two run bomb to left field to put the Gators on the brink of their second straight National Championship.

Michigan’s Kelly Christner hit a two out single to center field, but Aleshia Ocasio was able to strike out the next batter to leave her stranded.

The Gators quickly got on base following an error by Michigan’s Abby Ramirez that allowed Kelsey Stewart to reach second base. After a ground out, Haeger came up and hit a bomb to left field to put the Gators up 2-0. A two out walk by Kayli Kvistad put her on first, but another strike out ended the inning with Florida leading 2-0.

Michigan got another two out hit in the top of the second, this time from Haylie Wagner and a walk drawn by Tera Blanco put two runners on base. Ramirez struck out swinging to end the inning and Michigan still down 2-0.

The Gators added to their lead in the bottom of the third. A one out single by Nicole DeWitt was followed by a crushing double to the right center field gap by Haeger that scored DeWitt. Kirsti Merritt was hit by the next pitch to put runners on first and second with only one out. After a ground out and walk loaded the bases, Megan Betsa was relieved by Haylie Wagner in the circle. She got the job done by forcing a foul out to end the inning and Michigan trailing 3-0 after three innings.

Ocasio was able to pitch around a one out walk to Lindsay Montemarano in the top of the fourth. Meanwhile, Florida got a lead off base runner after an error at shortstop by Ramirez. Despite that, Wagner was able to set the next three down in order to keep it a three run game.

In the top of the sixth, Michigan had a great opportunity to put their first run on the board. Kelsey Susalla singled to center and Lauren Sweet was hit by a pitch while also being pinch ran for by Nikki Wald. A fly out to right field put runners on the corners. Wagner hit a shot to left field, but just missed staying fair and she popped out to second to end the at-bat.

A walk by Blanco loaded the bases to bring up Ramirez with the bases loaded. Ramirez hit a slapper up the middle to drive home Wald and Susalla to make it a 3-2 game. Sierra Lawrence hit a hard shot to left field, but it was caught to end the inning after the top of the sixth.

The first pitch of the bottom half of the sixth hit Bailey Castro and she was pinch ran for by Justine McLean. A fly out and sacrifice moved McLean up to second, but a short pop out to the pitcher put Michigan down to their final three outs in the seventh.

Delanie Gourley stepped into the circle to start the seventh in place of Ocasio for the Gators. She gave up a lead off walk to Sierra Romero and she moved up to second on a passed ball to put her in scoring position. A single by Christner put runners on the corners before a nice stab at short by Katie Medina put the runner out at second to leave runners on the corners with one out. Interestingly, Romero stayed put at third when she may have been able to score on the throw to first.

Gourley then used a nice curveball to strike out Sweet for the second out. Gourley then induced a ground ball from Montemarano to end the game.

Lauren Haeger was the star going 2 for 3 with all three runs batted in and one run. Aleshia Ocasio pitched six innings giving up two runs, five hits, and four walks while striking out three batters.

Michigan’s Haylie Wagner pitched a perfect three and one third innings with one strikeout.

Game two will be on Tuesday night at 8 PM Eastern Time on ESPN. Michigan needs to win to force the decisive game three on Wednesday night.