Softball

Freshman Julia Jimenez saw starts at second base and designated player, and played in all five games of the USF-Rawlings Invitational.

Sophomore catcher Hannah Carson stood at the plate, dialed in. Florida’s Natalie Lugo readied her pitch and delivered. The ball rocketed off Carson’s bat through the right side of the infield — two runs scored.

Senior outfielder Haley Hoogenraad notched four runs, three RBI and a .429 batting average over Michigan’s perfect 5-0 weekend at the USF-Rawlings Invitational.

With seemingly no effort, Hoogenraad drilled the ball into the right-center field gap — where it fell between the Bulldogs’ right fielder Kelsey Hall and center fielder Mckenzie Wilson. As Esman crossed home, the extra-innings were over, the game finished. Michigan 1, Fresno State 0 — the final win in the Wolverines perfect 5-0 weekend at the USF-Rawlings Invitational.

The Michigan softball team will play in its first tournament of the season this weekend.

What identity will this year's Michigan team write? Is it a cohesive, aggressive unit like Hutchins envisions, one that embodies Schembechler’s words? Or is it something different, requiring perhaps a steeper learning curve than anticipated?

Over fall break, the Michigan softball team took a trip to Cuba, playing games against a Cuban softball team and leading a clinic throughout the weekend.

In October, the University of Michigan gives its students and faculty a long weekend as an annual fall break. For most, it’s a time to relax, catch up on work and spend time with family. For the Michigan softball team, it was time for a life experience.
By 6:30 AM that Friday, the Wolverines were already loading the bus for their trip. Four hours later they were in the air — destination: Cuba.

The Michigan softball team hopes to improve on its No. 17 preseason ranking.

Take the highs with the lows.

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Over the past two seasons, the Michigan softball team’s success in the circle has largely fallen on the shoulders of one athlete: junior left-hander Meghan Beaubien.

But this season, as sophomore right-hander Alex Storako comes into her own and the Wolverines welcome two more pitchers onto their roster, Beaubien may be able to give her arm a rest from time to time.
For the first time in 20 years, the Wolverines’ pitching staff now boasts five pitchers: Beaubien, Storako, freshman left-hander Lauren Esman, freshman right-hander Chandler Dennis and junior right-hander Sarah Schaefer. But with so many of Michigan’s options untested and unseasoned, it’s too early to tell what impact the added depth will have

While the Michigan softball team lost five seniors to graduation, younger players are ready to step up to replace them.

The Michigan softball team is aware it has big shoes to fill.
Five seniors from last year’s team — each one a key cog in the lineup and a vital presence in the locker room — are gone. A class that coach Carol Hutchins often endorses as one of the best she’s ever had graduated in May, leaving behind sizeable holes.
Still, it’s apparent that the current Wolverines firmly believe in the group of players they have. At Tuesday’s Media Day, players spoke with unwavering confidence, seemingly unfazed by the roster turnover.

The Michigan softball team tried axe throwing as a bonding activity in the offseason.

Last weekend, the Michigan softball team took on a new challenge. A challenge that had coach Carol Hutchins worrying whether she or a team member would end up in the emergency room with an axe sticking out of their leg.

This season, sophomore right-hander Alex Storako is looking to find her presence on the mound.

Mentality.

It’s the word that’s guided Michigan softball’s pitching staff through the offseason. But for its top two arms, that means something different.

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Carol Hutchins often touted the 2019 senior class as one of the best she’s ever had.