The No. 2 Michigan softball team has shown that being successful this season is not due to just big bats. Just ask Bree Evans, Nicole Sappingfield and Lindsay Doyle.

What do the junior and two freshmen all have in common? Yes, they’re all outfielders. But more importantly, none of them have home runs yet this season.

As the Wolverines (14-2 Big Ten, 47-4 overall) prepare to face Big Ten foe Minnesota for a weekend series on Saturday and Sunday at Alumni Field, Michigan will not only look to its pitchers and power hitters, but also to its three outfielders, whose speed around the bags has made quite an impact this season.

“Bree’s job, Colie’s job and Doyle’s job is to make things happen,” Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said. “They complement their speed game by being able to get on base.

“That’s all we ask of them, and they were able to do that (in sweeping Ohio State). They’ve done their part very well.”

Evans’ batting average of .419 leads the team, with Sappingfield sitting in a close third (.369). Add in Doyle’s consistency at the plate — the rookie earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week last week after batting an .833 against Wisconsin — and Michigan has quite the power trio for getting on base.

The Wolverines head into the weekend matchup against the Golden Gophers (8-8, 30-21) tied for first place in the conference with Indiana. Key movement around the bases could prove extremely vital for Michigan as the regular season comes to a close.

Getting on base — and running around them well — could also prove critical for both the Wolverines’ and Golden Gophers’ offenses, as there could be a battle at the mound this weekend.

Senior pitcher Jordan Taylor, who pitched back-to-back games against Ohio State on Wednesday and let up just three hits and one run with 18 strikeouts, will face another Big Ten ace in Minnesota’s Sara Moulton.

Moulton comes into the weekend with the fifth-best ERA (1.97) in the conference, not much higher than Taylor’s No. 1 ranking at 1.38. Moulton has also struck out 302 batters so far this season, compared to Taylor’s 266.

And Minnesota has Moulton for three more years — she’s only a freshman.

Alumni Field may be hosting a veteran versus rookie matchup this weekend. But Taylor is ready, constantly looking to better herself.

“Before my little break, I didn’t feel like I was really pitching like myself,” Taylor said Wednesday. “Wisconsin was a good weekend, but at the same time, I wasn’t satisfied with it. I was pretty happy with Ohio State; it was a good night.

“But, I’m never really satisfied with my playing.”

Michigan looks to reclaim sole control of the conference with wins over Minnesota this weekend before heading into its final games of the regular season next week.

But the base runners and pitchers must be on top of their game, because Moulton and the Golden Gopher squad are coming off their first Big Ten sweep — over Northwestern — and won’t go down without a fight.

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