Going into this weekend, Michigan coach Carol Hutchins wanted the team to change its mindset. 

And it’s not clear that came to fruition. 

The Michigan softball team won just two of five games at this weekend’s Judi Garman Classic. The Wolverines had a rocky start to the weekend, falling to Loyola Marymount on Friday and No. 3 Texas on Saturday before picking up a win against No. 25 Texas Tech later that afternoon. 

That momentum didn’t carry through to the last day of the tournament when No. 2 Washington blew past Michigan, 10-2, in five innings. To close out the weekend, the Wolverines edged out Colorado State, 1-0, in the bottom of the seventh. 

A lack of offensive production plagued Michigan throughout the weekend — a problem not unfamiliar to the Wolverines. In their first game against the Lions, Michigan had seven hits, but was only able to get one runner home. While the Wolverines were up by one at the top of the first inning, Loyola reached first on a throwing error by junior shortstop Natalia Rodriguez and advanced on a hit by pitch in the top of the second.

The Lions sent both runners home on a single, putting them up 2-1 on Michigan, and the rest of the game passed scoreless for both teams. 

Saturday afternoon, the Wolverines’ offense wasn’t faring any better. They managed just four hits against the Longhorns — none of which translated into a run. 

But as long as junior left-hander Meghan Beaubien was in the circle, the Wolverines were still in the game. She pitched the first two matchups of the tournament, letting up just three and two hits, respectively. While Beaubien held off the Longhorns for the majority of the game, they were able to get one by Michigan’s defense in the bottom of the sixth inning which was all they needed to secure the 1-0 win. 

“I felt like I had a lot of my pitches going,” Beaubien said. “I thought in general my pitches were moving well and I felt like I just did a really good job of stressing my pitches and not trying to do too much about them, just letting them work.”

The weekend’s bright spot came during Saturday’s contest against the Raiders. With bases loaded, junior infielder Lou Allan singled to send sophomore outfielder Morgan Overaitis home. And then, senior designated player Abby Skvarce singled. And then, sophomore catcher Hannah Carson singled to bring her home. 

After registering a combined 11 hits in the two previous games, it seemed like the Wolverines found their spark across the batting order. In the second inning, they sent six runners around the bases — as many runs as they got in the rest of the weekend combined. That inning alone was all Michigan needed to carry itself to a 8-2 victory against Texas Tech. 

“Being able to string those hits together and really connect well with the ball and do it back-to-back in that game, it was huge,” sophomore outfielder Lexie Blair said. “We needed that. It’s just about taking those steps each time, generally just going up in the right direction, in a positive way.”

But from there the offense stalled and, in the next game, Beaubien wasn’t in the circle to hold the Huskies back. 

With bases loaded in the top of the first inning, sophomore right-hander Alex Storako let up a homer, putting the Wolverines at a four-run deficit early on. In the bottom of the first, Michigan went base to base to score two runs, cutting Washington’s lead in half. 

But the Huskies hit their stride, picking up three more runs in each of the next two innings. The Wolverines couldn’t keep up, not registering another hit for the rest of the game. 

Their offensive struggles followed them into their final matchup against the Colorado State — Michigan only managed four hits throughout the game. Fortunately for the Wolverines, the Rams couldn’t compete with Beaubien’s arm. Neither team could get on the board until the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs, a walk-off homer from senior infielder Madison Uden put an end to the game. 

Challenges at the plate aren’t new for Michigan. Last season, the Wolverines’ had the toughest start in program history, losing 10 of 22 games before coming home to Ann Arbor.

This year, the Wolverines started the season hot, staying undefeated until last weekend. While the 10-game run seemed to signal good things for Michigan, the past two weeks have been reminiscent of last year’s struggles. The offense faltered last weekend, dropping matches against Iowa State, No. 25 South Carolina and Liberty. 

With two more weeks until the Wolverines come back to Ann Arbor for the home opener, they’ll need to make a change to right the ship. But the team thinks they have what it takes to stay the course.

“Our team has a lot of grit in certain situations like grinding out a win with two outs in the bottom of the seventh today.” Beaubien said. “… That kind of grit and toughness — that’s what we want to stick with us.” 

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