By Simon Kaufman, Daily Sports Writer
Published February 20, 2013
Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins took over the Wolverines nearly 10 years before freshman shortstop Sierra Romero was born — and the veteran coach has had no problem utilizing her, so far this season, as she's been a huge help to Michigan.
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Just two weeks into her college career, Romero is doing exactly what was asked of her, and what was expected from her. A Murrieta, Calif. native, Romero made the Max All-America team and was the third-ranked prospect by ESPN, among other accomplishments coming out of high school.
“I don’t really pay attention to any of that,” Romero said. “I’m just here to play Michigan softball. … I’ve been waiting to come here for forever, so I’m just here ready to play.”
After her first weekend playing at the collegiate level, she already had another accolade to add to her list. Last week, Romero was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after collecting four hits — one in each game — including a grand slam and a two-run home run to help Michigan go 3-1 on the weekend in the Wolverines’ first series of the season at the USF Tournament in Tampa, Fla.
Romero has started each of Michigan’s eight games this season, and hasn’t missed an inning in the field. Defensively, she ranks second in the Big Ten in assists with 28. She said the experienced veteran players have helped her so far.
“I just go out and play my game,” Romero said. “(I’ve been) working with the upperclassmen. I have a lot to learn and they’re there teaching me the ropes, and I’m getting the hang of it.”
This past weekend at the FAU Kickoff Classic in Boca Raton, Fla., Romero picked up four more hits to add to her stat line. She is in the top 10 in the Big Ten in slugging percentage (.792), runs scored (eight), RBI (10) and total bases (19). The freshman said the key to her success in the batter’s box is going up with a clear mind.
Romero is one of six Michigan freshmen that have made their college debut this year.
“The game doesn’t know if they’re a freshman or a senior,” Hutchins said. “We don’t bring them here to take the first year off so they can watch us play. Their job is to help us win and I’m certain you’ll see lots of more freshmen over the course of this year, and that’s our expectation is they’re here to contribute.”
But despite her fast start, Romero is not content.
“I think there’s always room for improvement,” Romero said. “So (I’d like to improve on) everything.”