Sophomore left-hander Meghan Beaubien pitched 5 shutout innings.

Players surround the plate, smiling and chanting as they eye their teammate rounding third base. Moments prior, Faith Canfield slammed the first hit of the home season over the fence past left field.

The No. 25 Michigan softball team, No. 19 Indiana, No. 21 Minnesota and No. 23 Wisconsin are primed to be the Big Ten's top competitors in the 2019 season.

The Daily breaks down the Big Ten contenders who have their eyes set on dethroning the Wolverines this spring.

Senior Katie Alexander was a powerhouse on offense last season, holding a batting average of .314, posting 29 runs scored and five home runs.

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 Daily breaks down the Michigan softball team's 2019 roster as the Wolverines look to take their 11th Big Ten regular-season title in 12 years.

The Daily breaks down each of the Wolverines’ position groups as they aim to capitalize on a Kent State team that enters Ann Arbor mired in an eight-game losing streak.

The Michigan softball team has the opportunity to use its current mental struggles as a motivating factor.

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.

Natalia Rodriguez fondly remembers her first experience at Alumni Field last season and is excited for the home opener this weekend.

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.

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.

Senior second baseman Faith Canfield drove in the game-winning runs on both Friday and Sunday.

After a lousy weekend that found the Michigan softball team in a frenzy, it seemed as if this weekend would just add onto it.

The Michigan softball team have been blaming mental lapses for the slow start to their season.

The Wolverines left the third week of the season as coach Carol Hutchins’ first losing team this far into a season in 35 years. After a start like that, how could they be happy?