Six Wolverines earn All-Big Ten honors
One day before the Michigan softball team begins Big Ten Tournament play, six Wolverines were selected to all-conference teams.
Senior right-hander Megan Betsa, junior utility player Tera Blanco, senior center fielder Kelly Christner and sophomore second baseman Faith Canfield earned All-Big Ten first-team honors. Senior shortstop Abby Ramirez and sophomore right fielder Natalie Peters captured second-team selections. Junior catcher Morgan Swift was also Michigan’s sportsmanship honoree.
The “face of (the) program” according to Michigan coach Carol Hutchins, Betsa is one of four players to earn unanimous votes, while becoming a four-time honoree. In conference play, she posted a 14-2 record, a 0.86 earned-run average and a Big Ten-best 191 strikeouts.
The pitching staff’s second nod went to Blanco with her first first-team and second straight All-Big Ten selection — this year as a utility player and last as a first baseman. After a slow start, the junior improved as a hitter, pitcher and fielder, ending with a 6-1 record and a 1.47 ERA in conference competition, along with a .415 batting average, .564 on-base percentage and .717 slugging percentage.
After finishing her junior campaign without hardware, Christner received first-team accolades, her first since a breakout sophomore season. The senior captain tops Michigan with a .419 overall batting average, including a .375 clip in Big Ten matchups.
Canfield provided a major spark to a flat Wolverine offense near the season’s halfway mark and now adds All-Big Ten honors to her stellar résumé. After mainly used in a utility role as a freshman, the sophomore ranks second in the conference with a .468 batting average. Canfield leads Michigan in total hits, runs, doubles, total bases and slugging percentage.
Ramirez and Peters earned their second and first All-Big Ten selections, respectively. Hitting .364 overall and .359 against Big Ten opponents, Ramirez was a consistent force in the ever-changing Wolverine lineup. Her fellow slap — and largely leadoff — hitter Peters mounted a .403 average in Big Ten play and .372 overall. In her first season as a starter, she went 10-for-10 in steals and tacked on 55 hits.