2013 Softball World Series Ann Arbor Super Regional Breakdown

2013 Softball World Series Ann Arbor Super Regional Breakdown
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan


#8 Michigan vs. Louisiana


How They Advanced:
The Ann Arbor Regional began with a bang as #8 Michigan’s Ashley Lane blasted a three-run home run in the first inning, while Sara Driesenga tossed a two hitter in defeating Valparaiso in the opening game for both teams. California bested Central Michigan 8-1 on the strength of four Golden Bear home runs and Jolene Henderson recorded eight strikeouts, giving up just one unearned run.

Saturday action was more of the same from Driesenga, who shut down the Cal Bear offense, allowing only five hits in the complete game victory. Cal’s defense was sloppy, committing three errors on the day. They got their chance to advance thanks to a Henderson no-hitter in the must-win game against Valpo. Cal’s star posted seven strikeouts in tandem with a balanced, 11 hit offensive output, Khala Taylor collecting three of those hits.

Sunday’s Michigan versus California contest was scoreless until a two-run Sierra Romero double put Michigan ahead 2-0. Cal would answer in the bottom of the inning on a Cheyenne Cordes solo homer, but the Wolverine’s Caitlin Blanchard would add a solo shot in the sixth to extend the lead to 3-1 and the game would end that way, awarding Michigan the Super.


In Baton Rouge, Louisiana is no stranger to post-season play and didn’t have far to travel. Mike Lotief’s Ragin Cajuns showed they belonged in one of the few upsets of the day on Saturday, taking down regional host and #9 seeded LSU Tigers 3-0.  Jordan Wallace and Rachele Fico matched two-hit totals, but Louisiana used their hits wisely, scoring on long balls by Sara Corbello and Brianna Cherry.  Louisiana had opened their regional with a 3-0 win over Northwestern State. Wallace was tough, striking out 11 and surrendering only one hit. LSU had advanced to the Louisiana game via 15 strikeouts by Ashley Czechner against Central Connecticut State in the opener.

Louisiana’s Nerissa Myers began Sunday’s action against LSU with a leadoff double, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on an infield error. That would be all they would need, as Jordan Wallace shut down LSU on four hits. The Tigers Rachele Fico gave up only two hits but was tagged with the loss as the Ragin Cajuns advanced to play at the Ann Arbor Super Regional.


Super Regional Projection:
Michigan will be at home and looking to recreate their 2005 World Championship experience. Louisiana has also been to the Big Show, so neither program will be shy about leaving it all on the field. The Big Ten was neither as tough nor as deep as other conferences, and Louisiana is from the Sun Belt. Both failed to win their league so it’s all even on that front, too. Louisiana came into the weekend with 83 home runs, but Michigan counters with Romero, Blanchard and Lane. Jordan Wallace and Sara Driesenga had good showings, and their ERAs are almost identical. Home field goes to Michigan, but this could be a tightly contested Super. A hunch says it goes three games with the Ragin Cajuns pulling out a squeaker to reach the series.


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