Softball

The No. 1 seed Michigan softball team will square off against No. 3 seed Minnesota on Saturday afternoon.

BLOOMINGTON — Though Minnesota is just the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, it brings the greatest challenge the top-seeded Michigan softball team has faced since the weekend the Wolverines defeated then-No. 2 UCLA and then-No. 5 Washington in the beginning of March. 

Senior catcher Katie Alexander has recorded a .359 batting average over the past month.

The senior catcher is far from the most reliable batter in the lineup with an average of .279. Though slump in March put her batting average well below .200, it has been steadily rising since Michigan’s home opener.

But when she gets contact with the ball, it’s gone.

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While an early spark is definitely not out of the ordinary for Michigan, anyone who watched the Wolverines at the plate in their Friday quarterfinal game would find them unrecognizable. They got just seven hits against No. 9 seed Illinois, only one of which was translated into a run.

They needed to make a shift after the lack-luster performance.

Sophomore left-hander Meghan Beaubien limited Wisconsin's offense in Saturday's 8-3 win.

Saturday’s Big Ten Tournament semifinal matchup between the No. 1 seed Michigan softball team and No. 5 seed Wisconsin began with a star-studded battle. With a trip to the championship game at stake, the Big Ten’s 2018 Pitcher of the Year began the day with a duel against its 2019 Player of the Year.

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The Wolverines hung on to defeat No. 5 seed Wisconsin, 8-3, in the semifinal game of the Big Ten Tournament. The win signaled a revival of Michigan’s offense and advances the team to the final against No. 2 seed Northwestern or No. 3 seed Minnesota, depending on the outcome of Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the powerhouse teams.

The Michigan softball team has little time to celebrate its win against Illinois as it faces a hot Wisconsin team Saturday morning.

For the first time since 2016, the No. 1 seed Michigan softball team advanced past the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. And though Friday’s game against No. 9 seed Illinois proved to be a challenge, Saturday’s semifinal matchup against No. 5 seed Wisconsin won’t be any easier.

Sophomore left-hander Meghan Beaubien stepped in as a reliever Friday, delivering clutch strikeouts and pitches to keep Michigan in a tight quarterfinal game against Illinois.

BLOOMINGTON It was the bottom of the eighth. The No. 1 seed Michigan softball team was locked in a scoreless draw with No. 9 seed Illinois. Lexie Blair had just stepped into the batter’s box.

The Big Ten's two best offenses combined for just one run on Friday afternoon.

BLOOMINGTON — Statistics suggested the game would be defined by offensive fireworks. But as postseason softball often goes, No. 1 seed Michigan’s 1-0 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal win over No. 9 seed Illinois turned into a pitching duel on Friday.

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BLOOMINGTON — In the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Tournament, the Michigan softball team found itself in a battle of the defenses. 

The top seeded Wolverines (40-11 overall, 22-1 Big Ten) edged out No. 9 seed Illinois 1-0 (32-21, 9-14), 1-0 in extra innings. 

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins and her team will take on the Fighting Illini Friday afternoon.

BLOOMINGTON — In each of the last two years, the Michigan softball team has been upset in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. This year, No. 9 seed Illinois will try to extend that streak.