Softball

Senior second baseman Faith Canfield has batted .448 in two March tournaments.

As a Southern California native, the senior second baseman is used to the heat. Temperatures hovered around the mid-70s when the No. 25 Michigan softball team battled against some of the nation’s top competition at last week’s Judi Garman Classic and Arizona State Invitational, but no source of heat was more intense than Canfield’s bat.

The Michigan softball team went 3-2 at the Arizona State Invitational.

Another weekend of Michigan softball.

Another weekend of inconsistency.

Former Michigan softball star Sierra Romero will face the Wolverines this weekend as a volunteer assistant coach with Oregon.

Despite trotting out a lineup headlined by National Player of the Year Sierra Romero, the second-ranked Wolverines suffered a 1-0 defeat against No. 7 Florida State in a Women’s College World Series elimination showdown. That ill-fated afternoon was the last time Romero found herself on a softball diamond with her Michigan family.

But that’s set to change at this weekend’s Judi Garman Classic, where the Wolverines (6-8) will square off against No. 20 Oregon (11-4). After spending the last two years playing professionally, Romero joined Ducks’ first-year head coach Melyssa Lombardi’s staff as a volunteer assistant coach ahead of this season.

Senior second baseman Faith Canfield and the rest of Michigan's infield is looking to develop consistency as the season kicks into gear.

While it’s easy to point to an offense yet to find its rhythm, Michigan's defense has seen its fair share of uneven performances

Sophomore left-hander pitcher Meghan Beaubien blamed her mental game for her struggles this weekend.

The lag ended Saturday when Beaubien started against California State-Northridge and pitched a no-hitter. Beaubien’s inconsistency — pitching like an entirely different athlete in separate games — prompts one question: Why?

For Beaubien herself, that answer lies in her mental game.

Junior Madison Uden had a hit, run, and RBI against California State Northridge on Saturday.

The first couple of games of the LSU Invitational saw the Michigan softball team plagued by the same problems it’s faced all season. Towards the end of the weekend, though, the Wolverines looked revived both at the plate and defensively, grabbing two wins to salvate a 2-3 weekend record.

Friday, the Wolverines (6-8) were overwhelmed by Stanford (11-2) and No. 9 Louisiana State (13-3).

Sophomore pitcher Meghan Beaubien has a surprising ERA of 3.00 so far this season.

With two weekends in the rearview mirror, a solution-oriented approach has taken shape among the entire pitching staff.

“The (pitchers) know themselves and that they have to do better than that, and they hear it from the coaches,” senior catcher Katie Alexander said. “They’re all hard workers so they’re going to come to practice this week and know what they have to do to get better because they see what happens when you throw the ball over the plate, or when you walk (batters) and give up 10 free bases.”

Madison Uden has gone 4-for-21 from the box over nine games.

When the current upperclassmen first arrived in Ann Arbor, there wasn’t much to improve. Michigan had consistently been ranked in the top-10 and was graced by the presence of 2016 National Player of the Year Sierra Romero.

It’s been three years now since Romero graduated — the program has struggled to reach such heights since. And Hutchins thinks it’s incumbent on the upperclassmen to help bridge that gap.

Senior catcher Katie Alexander hit a home run in Michigan's 4-2 loss to North Carolina on Saturday.

For the first time since 2001, the Michigan softball team is leaving its first two tournaments of the season with a record under .500.

The slow start raises many questions for the Wolverines, with one more prominent than the others: Where do they go from here?

Sophomore left-hander Meghan Beaubien and the Michigan softball team will play in its fourth straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

When the No. 17 Michigan softball team takes the field this weekend, it will see a pair of unfamiliar foes on the other side of the diamond.