Every time the Michigan softball team takes the field, it takes a little bit of the past with it.

With six seniors heading this year’s squad, the experienced Wolverines have plenty of games under their belts. The leaders of the team— senior captains Angela Findlay and Maggie Viefhaus — believe that remembering the past is important. That way they will be able to learn from every situation, good or bad.

“It’s crazy being a senior, because you feel like you’ve literally gone through it all,” Viefhaus said. “You’ve hit rock bottom, you’ve hit your peaks, and you can only get better and learn from those experiences. You can’t dwell on them. I think that’s what I’ve improved on most, just moving on. If something doesn’t go my way, I move on from it. I try and find positives out of everything I do.”

Findlay and Viefhaus know that their position on the team is slightly different from the rest of the upperclassmen. While their biggest job is to help the rest of the team improve as a whole, the two captains must also be the ones to discuss any issues that arise during the season. The captains are aware of the difficulty that lies in addressing a four-year starter about their mental or physical preparations.

“Obviously it’s a big honor to be captain,” Findlay said. “I mean, you come into a school that has had a lot of success, especially in softball. But it’s also a huge responsibility. You have to be someone that is willing to tell your teammates things that maybe they don’t want to hear, and also be able to tell yourself that.”

But the duo knows the special role to which their teammates have elected them and aspire to set the tone for the team, starting with their focus and motivation at practice.

“That’s the challenge that I love, that even when you don’t feel your greatest, you still have to perform to the best of your ability because your teammates are looking up to you,” Viefhaus said. “I love to be able to come through for my team, to play for Michigan, to play for my teammates.”

The two captains have translated their leadership into game-time performance as well. Viefhaus — the third baseman — leads the team at the plate, hitting .368. Findlay, the right-fielder, is close behind, batting .324. And together, the duo has started all 22 games for the Wolverines this season, driving in a combined 40 RBI thus far.

After losing to Georgia in game three of the Women’s College World Series last season, this year’s Michigan squad wants an improved postseason performance. But the veteran Wolverines know that they must take it one game at a time, taking care of business in their difficult non-conference and Big Ten schedules before they can look ahead to the postseason.

Even in its current 10-game win streak, the Michigan captains refuse to let the team take anything for granted.

They remember their past three seasons as Wolverines, and know that until the last out is recorded, anything can happen.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned throughout the time I’ve been here is that anybody can beat anyone on any given day,” Findlay said. “We’ve had some really good teams here who have lost to teams that on paper weren’t nearly as good as we were. But I’ve learned that you need to go out there and treat every opponent the same. You can’t take any day for granted, not practice, games, not anything. You’ve just really got to go out there every day and focus, one pitch at a time.”

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