Lexie Blair registered her first official at-bat at Alumni Field last Thursday. While she finished the day with two RBI and a perfect on-base percentage, she left the weekend with a new honor added to her already-hot start as a Wolverine.
The freshman outfielder left the weekend with a .875 batting average and earned Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week honors for her first home performance against Kent State last weekend. Performing almost perfectly offensively, Blair added a grand slam and six RBI to secure an 18-1 run rule victory over the Flash.
Blair’s award marks the first Big Ten Player of the Week honor for Michigan since Tera Blanco won the award early last April. It also recognizes her offensive leadership, which showed in all three games. On the weekend, Blair’s slugging percentage of 1.250 and .900 on-base percentage put her on base almost every time she approached the plate, advancing more than one base in several of those at-bats.
Despite just starting this year, that leadership is still important to the Wolverines, who struggled offensively to start the season.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshmen or a senior,” said sophomore left-hander Meghan Beaubien. “If they play well, yeah, they’ll definitely have an impact.”
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins agrees.
Early in the season, Hutchins identified Blair’s talent hitting with power, even with the team’s overall lag offensively against ranked teams starting the season.
“I think she’s a little spark plug,” Hutchins said earlier in the season. “We started her down in the order and then we moved her up immediately and she responded by getting things done for us. I think she’s going to be a key cog in our offensive wheel.”
Blair has lived up to that potential. With conference play looming, the freshman has a team-high number of hits, 32, tied with senior second baseman Faith Canfield, and sits second on the team with a .368 batting average, behind only Canfield. Still, even with high statistics, Blair has commented that she gets nervous stepping to the plate.
“I’m nervous for every game, but I tell myself this is my thousandth time at bat,” Blair said. “I just try to go in there, not think to much, and be free.”
And, apparently, she has. As one of the Wolverines’ best players, Blair’s nerves haven’t stopped her. And after last weekend, she has something to celebrate.