Softball Pushes #16 Michigan to the Limit, Falls 4-3

Softball Pushes #16 Michigan to the Limit, Falls 4-3

Box Score

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Rachel Knable hit Temple's first homerun of the season to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth, but the 16th-ranked Michigan softball team scored in the bottom of the seventh to come away with the 4-3 win. The game on Sunday morning was the final for Temple (4-6) at the Citrus Classic, being held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.

Michigan (15-5) opened the scoring with a two-run second inning. Ashley Lane led off with a single to right field and Lauren Sweet followed with a double to left center to put both runners in scoring position. Steph Kirkpatrick delivered a double through the left side to plate Lane for the first run. One out later, Sweet scored on a Temple error to make it a 2-0 lead.

TU cut the lead in half in the top of the third. Christina Sykora drew a two-out walk and promptly moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Another Wolverine error allowed Ali Robinson to reach base, and Sykora to score from second to cut it to a 2-1 game.

Sweet and Kirkpatrick were again involved in an offensive outburst for Michigan in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back singles from the pair, including a bunt single from Kirkpatrick, put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved them to second and third, and a Lyndsay Doyle single up the middle drove in Sweet to make it 3-1.

After a scoreless fifth from both sides, Rachel Knable chose a great time to belt the Owls' first homerun of the season. Her one-out two-run shot scored Samantha Schoell, who had reached earlier on a fielder's choice, and knotted the game at 3-3. Knable's roundtripper chased starting pitcher Sara Driesenga and Haylie Wagner came on in relief and sat the next two batters down to get out of the inning.

The Owls were just two outs from forcing extra innings with the nationally ranked Wolverines before their fourth fielding miscue and a timely double from Amanda Chidester put runners at second and third. With that, Brooklin White came in to relieve starter Capri Catalano and try to extend the game.

White intentionally walked Lane to load the bases and create the force play, but that plan backfired as Sweet patiently worked the count full and was then hit by a pitch to drive in the winning run.

Wagner (11-1) picked up the win in relief, going 1.2 innings, striking out five and allowing no hits. Driesenga was chased after 5.1 innings of work with three strikeouts, one walk and three runs (two earned) on three hits. Catalano (0-3) was the hard luck loser, allowing 10 hits and four runs (two earned) with four strikeouts and no walks over 6.1 innings of work.

In addition to Knable, Robinson and Alysse Pujol recorded Temple's other hits.
The Owls (4-6) will square off against the Netherlands National Team in an exhibition game on Thursday, March 8, before beginning play in the USF Under Armour Showcase Tournament with a 9:15 a.m. game on Friday, March 9, against Cleveland State.
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