On Saturday, Michigan showed that the scoring it had discovered against Indiana hadn’t disappeared after one showing. One seventh inning later, the scoreboard flashed 9-8 in favor of the Wolverines – another narrow one-run win on the weekend.
Tuesday night, Morgan Overaitis stepped to the plate for her first at-bat in East Lansing. A substitute in the lineup, the freshman infielder replaced senior second baseman Faith Canfield, the team’s leader in runs, in the batting order. Canfield had already hit a single, double and triple in the game, giving Overaitis big shoes to fill.
Each year, the Michigan softball team plays a road game at Michigan State. And each year, coach Carol Hutchins seizes the opportunity to give her team a history lesson.
At Secchia Stadium, the right field fence is draped in a green 1976 AIAW National Champions banner. The crown, which came four years after Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments, is the Spartans’ lone national championship.
This contest marked several other firsts in Storako’s career, including the first time she has pitched six innings without a hit and seven innings with just one hit.
Storako’s stamina would be a huge asset to the Wolverines if it were to continue into the rest of the season. With 147 innings already piled on Beaubien’s left arm, having Storako as a reliable second pitcher may be the difference between success and failure in the postseason.
At the plate, Rodriguez has taken a massive leap forward. After posting a .250 batting average last season — the worst among the Wolverines’ starters — Rodriguez spent much of the offseason in the batting cage. Now, as one of the country’s only true switch-hitters, she poses a threat regardless of the situation. Her ability to bunt from both sides of the plate, slap-hit from the left side and swing away from the right side makes her the Big Ten’s jack of all trades.
Following the senior catcher’s lead, the No. 21 Michigan softball team went 2-1 in three games against Ohio State, winning, 10-3 and 6-2, before dropping the weekend’s final game, 2-1. Even with the loss Saturday, which snapped the Wolverines’ 15-game win streak, the two comeback wins marked a shift in power at the plate, a welcome sign for Michigan’s offense, which at times has lacked in run generation.
Michigan swept Nebraska, Rutgers and Indiana en route to a 9-0 record to begin Big Ten play. During this start, the Wolverines posted a batting average of .315 and plated more than seven runs per game. But Hoogenraad and Alexander — the seventh and eighth batters in Michigan coach Carol Hutchins’ lineup — didn’t partake in the hit parade. The duo posted an average of just .220, while the first four hitters in the lineup combined for a .396 clip.
But in Columbus, Hoogenraad and Alexander flipped the switch.