When the Michigan softball team voted on whom to elect as team
captains this season, there was no doubt in coach Carol
Hutchins’s mind that one name would emerge from the election
— senior infielder Angie Churchill.

Michigan Softball
Senior Angie Churchill is spending her final year at Michigan as captain of the squad. (MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily)

“Churchill has bought 100 percent into our system and
successes,” Hutchins said. “Whether she’s on the
bench in the dugout or out playing in the game, she is a consistent
leader for the team.”

The infielder grew up playing softball, and participated in
several club teams around the Mokena, Ill., area, which is about 30
miles outside of Chicago. When Churchill was a senior in high
school, Hutchins made the five-hour trip to her school to watch her
play in a home game. By the end of the competition, Hutchins caught
a glimpse of Churchill’s maturity and competitiveness and
offered her a spot on the Wolverines’ squad.

“I can still remember going to see her play,”
Hutchins said. “It was a very cold day in Illinois, but after
the game I knew she would be a great addition to our team . She was
a depth player.”

“Depth player” is probably the best way to describe
Churchill’s participation and versatility on the field at
Michigan. Since her freshman year, she has played every infield
position except for first base. Recently, she has been playing
third base to fill in for sophomore Grace Leutele, who injured her
hamstring in a game against Purdue two weeks ago.

But the captain is happy with any playing time she gets.

“If I can play, I’ll play anywhere,” she said.
“But if I had to pick, I’d choose the left
side.”

While her time on the field is often limited, Churchill plays
the role of captain well, always remaining optimistic. She
constantly strives to promote her team morale and prepare the
underclassmen for the stresses and expectations that accompany
playing for one of the best softball programs in the country.

“I try to be a leader every day at practice,” the
senior said. “The Big Ten season can get intense, but I try
to teach (the younger players) that a lot of that pressure comes
from yourself. When we lose, we feel like the weight is on our
shoulders.”

Up until this point, though, Churchill has been lucky enough not
to have to deal with much losing this season. The Wolverines
currently boast an overall record of 33-6, and lead the Big Ten
conference, by remaining undefeated (8-0) even after this
weekend’s homestand against Ohio State and Penn State.

“I couldn’t be happier to be a team captain than I
am right now,” she said. “I feel like our team has
really come together this year.”

Hutchins has watched Churchill develop within her program over
the course of the past four years, and she is impressed by her
ability to empower the team and help raise it to its current level
of excellence.

“She has been a great leader for us both on and off the
field,” Hutchins said. “This is a kid who has, for the
past four years, been a great leader the entire time. She has
contributed to our success, and will go down in history as a great
leader. Angie loves Michigan and softball, and it shows everyday
when she walks on the field, whether she is playing or
not.”

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