May 19, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The 2013 California softball season came to a close Sunday as the hosting Michigan Wolverines eliminated the Golden Bears from the NCAA Softball Tournament at the Ann Arbor Regional.
"We had a hard-fought battle with Michigan today. They did a great job pitching with great defense and came up with the timely hits they needed to put the pressure on our team," California head coach Diane Ninemire said. "We played pretty well today and we had some opportunities but didn't come through with the key hits. As it was yesterday, it's either a total win or a total team loss and we fell a little short today."
Cal produced a solid effort in the rematch from Saturday. Sophomore Cheyenne Cordes scored the lone run with a homer to add to Cal's five-hit total, and the Golden Bears committed no errors. Senior Jolene Henderson offered up seven hits and just one walk while tossing six strikeouts. The effort was not enough to combat strong defense from the Wolverines led by ace Sara Driesenga, who allowed one walk with five strikeouts.
Center fielder Lyndsay Doyle started Michigan's first scoring segment with a single to right field. Right fielder Nicole Sappingfield got on base using a fielder's choice that put out the lead runner left fielder Sierra Lawrence out at home with a throw from junior second baseman Victoria Jones to senior catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt. With Doyle on second and Sappingfield at first, shortstop Sierra Romero knocked a ball into centerfield to drive her baserunners home and give Michigan a 2-0 advantage.
The Golden Bears chopped the lead to 2-1 in their half of the third inning with Cordes' 10th home run of the season.
A home run by Michigan first baseman Caitlin Blanchard at the top of the sixth gave the Wolverines their third score and the Ann Arbor Regional title.
This is just the second time in nine seasons that Cal has failed to advance to Super Regionals since the Super Regional format was added in 2005. The Golden Bears finish the season with a 38-19 record.