Posted: May 26, 2013 8:46 AM by UL Sports Information
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Facing elimination in game two of the NCAA Super Regional series the Ragin' Cajuns softball team opened the day with a 5-0 victory over the University of Michigan, before falling in a decisive third game, 2-1 on Saturday at Michigan's Alumni Field.
"First of all, congratulations to Michigan and Coach Hutchins," head coach Michael Lotief said in the post-game press conference. "It was a well-played Super Regional. It seemed like every game hinged on a call, an at-bat or a pitch. I'm proud of my kids, I'm proud of how they fought, I'm proud of how they never gave in. I think this is a great environment for college softball. It was a good experience, it was fun, and it will be something that when our kids look back on years from now, they will be proud of."
The Cajuns used their known power in the first game, using a pair of solo home runs from senior Sarah Draheim, and a two-run home run by freshman Sara Corbello to defeat the Wolverines and force a third game.
It was the first time in the 2013 season that Michigan lost at home and was also their first time being shut out on the season.
Jordan Wallace tossed a three-hit complete game shutout, her tenth of the season, allowing four walks and picking up 11 strikeouts. It was her 32nd win of the season which places her season tied with Ashley Brignac (2011) for fourth all-time.
Michigan's starter, Haylie Wagner, tossed the first 3.0 innings before leaving with an apparent shoulder injury. She allowed just two hits while fanning one batter before leaving the game.
Sara Driesenga finished the game for the Wolverines, picking up the loss after allowing five runs (four earned), on six hits, and picked up one strikeout.
The Cajuns runs came in the fourth and sixth innings. Draheim's home runs both came with one out in the inning, and were followed by a Matte Haack base hit. Haack came around to score in each inning as well, in the fourth on Corbello's homer, and by a misplayed ground ball hit by Samantha Walsh.
The second game started at the same pace as the first, with both teams going scoreless for the first three innings.
Shellie Landry opened the scoring for Louisiana, with an RBI single up the middle, bringing in Draheim. It was her third run scored of the day.
Jordan Wallace got the start in the second game as well and picked up right where she left off, shutting down the Wolverines for the first four innings.
Michigan finally solved Wallace in the fifth, when yesterday's hero, Ashley Lane hit a two-run double to take a 2-1 lead.
Driesenga also pitched again, getting the start for Michigan. She tossed a complete game, allowing the one run on four hits, and a walk, while striking out seven.
Two of those his were off the bat of Brianna Cherry, who finished the finale 2-for-2 with a walk.
"She didn't lose any velocity," Lotief said of Driesenga. "They changed their approach a little bit, obviously, but it was the same mix. Just a different approach to different hitters."
Wallace was the hard-luck loser, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out five. She finished the season with 382 strikeouts, the second most in a season at Louisiana. She played 47 games, the third most by a pitcher in a season.
"She's a warrior, she's a good kid," Lotief said of Wallace's performance. "She's a fighter and she's prepared for this all year. She wasn't going to back down. There was no way she was backing down, and it's not just her."
The game marked the final game for five seniors, Megan Waterman, Nerissa Myers, Brianna Cherry, Sarah Draheim and Matte Haack. A class that won 196 games, making three NCAA Super Regional appearances and winning three conference championships.
"You know, right now my focus is on these seniors. We have to go tell them ‘bye,' we have to go thank them, we have to go love on them. My seniors have poured their heart and soul into that program, not only what they've done on the softball field, but what they've done academically and what they've done in the community. My mind is not even thinking about going into next year, I want to go love on my seniors. I want to go tell them thank you for all of their hard work and their sacrifice and their leadership and their love for that program. I want to thank them for standing behind me, representing this university in such a positive way, being role models for my daughter and countless kids around this community. I have to go take care of that first."