As errors plummeted and her batting average soared, she could have been happy with her role as starting catcher, content in being remembered — just like her high school coach — as one of the strongest catchers in Michigan’s history. Instead, she’s gone above and beyond, serving the team as a leader and mentor, on and off the field.
The Wolverines head into home play with a 12-10 record, something that the Michigan coach, her players and the softball community at large aren’t accustomed to experiencing — nor could’ve predicted given the program’s precedent of dominance.
Alumni Field brings excitement, and starting its home season Thursday, the Michigan softball team needs to adjust to that energy to succeed. Though the environment the first weekend in Ann Arbor can carry some like Rodriguez, playing at home can also present new challenges — ones that the Wolverines plan to shed in favor of home-field traditions and hype.
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.