Softball

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.

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins will lose five seniors in her starting lineup next year.

Last Monday, James Madison upset the Michigan softball team on its own field to punch a ticket to the Super Regional. After the handshake line, the Wolverines walked off the field for one final time, heads hanging low.

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins' team could not produce any offense against James Madison.

During March, April and much of May, it looked as if the Michigan softball team overcame the glaring weakness that kept it from succeeding in February.

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins knew James Madison would be a tough out.

Tired and dejected, Michigan walked off the field. Needing only one win on Monday, the Wolverines could only piece together one run in Monday’s doubleheader matchup against James Madison, which used its momentum from Monday afternoon’s win to upset the No.

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The Ann Arbor regional championship between No. 15 Michigan and James Madison started off looking to be no different than the first two times these closely-matched teams played.