Softball

The 2017 NCAA Softball Tournament selection show was held Sunday night, revealing the 64 teams that will have the opportunity to vie for a national title.

Carol Hutchins coaches her team Friday against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.

This is what happens when the standard is set higher than everyone else, when “that good” is defined differently than for most everyone else.

Carol Hutchins coaching in a game against Michigan State on April 19, 2016.

After initial disbelief and sadness of the quick exit subside comes the ultimate question on Wolverine fans’ minds.

Megan Betsa had gotten the better of Michigan State centerfielder Lea Foerster in their previous two meetings, but Friday, the roles were reversed.

But on this day, it was Foerster getting the best of Betsa, proving a menace atop the Spartans’ order — reaching base in all four of her at-bats — and paving the way for the win nobody could have seen coming.

The Spartans scored three runs in the seventh inning to stun the Wolverines, ending their Big Ten Tournament run.

Despite carrying a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning, the Wolverines fell heartbreakingly to Michigan State, abruptly halting their tournament run.

Senior right-hander Megan Betsa in a game against Northwestern on March 31.

If the seventeenth-ranked Wolverines can secure their tenth straight win tomorrow against the Spartans, they’ll be one step closer to raising the championship once again.

As the Michigan softball team prepares for its first game in the Big Ten Tournament Friday, two of the Daily's softball beat writers exchanged their reasons why the Wolverines will, or won't, bring home the tenth conference championship in program history.

Megan Betsa has 370 strikeouts this year, tops in the country.

She was a kid from rural Georgia in Ann Arbor in the middle of January. Against all odds, it was love at first sight.

Senior centerfielder Kelly Christner is one of six of Michigan's All-Big Ten honorees.

Betsa, Blanco, Christner and Canfield were named to the first team, while Ramirez and Peters earned second-team selections.

The Daily softball beat breaks down the Big Ten tournament and offers their predictions for champion, team to watch and how far Michigan will go.