It’s not the worst dilemma in the world, but it’s something that had bugged me since the start of conference play for the No. 2 Michigan softball team.

And every time junior pitcher Jordan Taylor padded her Big Ten strikeout lead with a double-digit strikeout performance — a lead that currently stands at nearly 50 K’s — or every time junior first baseman Dorian Shaw skied a ball into the evergreens beyond the Alumni Field left field fence, the dilemma just kept eating at me.

There was no way to predict how well the Wolverines will play come this postseason.

Frankly, Michigan is a Goliath in a conference of Davids. Outside of Ann Arbor, few Big Ten cities have been able to attract top recruits like those of the SEC and Pac Ten, two conferences that currently have a combined 12 ranked teams. And honestly, why would a student choose to play for a Midwest school that requires a month-long road trip to south and west coast venues to start the season?

I’m certainly not suggesting that the Wolverines don’t have to bust their butts to win. Each of their 15 mercy-rule victories this season are undoubtedly a product of determination and an avoidance of complacency.

But there’s a tough reality that lies ahead — postseason games don’t end in five innings, postseason batters wont freeze on Taylor’s curveballs as often, and postseason pitchers may actually find a way to deal with Shaw. And until this weekend, I was genuinely concerned about how the Wolverines would deal with this dilemma.

On Friday, Kentucky came to town for a two-game set, giving Michigan a break from Big Ten play and a chance to show me what they can do in a playoff-style matchup.

No, Kentucky is not ranked, and they don’t have a winning record in the SEC. But I’m willing to cut them some slack and consider them a postseason-like contender because they still possess a well-balanced lineup with a phenomenal pitching duo in Chanda Bell and Rachel Riley. Plus, they just came off of series against No. 17 LSU, No. 6 Florida and No. 8 Georgia over a one-month span, which tells me they’re a battle-tested team.

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins would be the first to tell you that she pushed to get Kentucky to play at Alumni Field to prepare her players for quality teams that could play into late May and even early June.

And now, my mind is at ease.

Through the first five innings of Friday night’s game, Bell stymied the Wolverine lineup, holding it to just one hit. And after the Wildcats crossed the plate three times in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-0 lead, Michigan seemed down for the count.

But Michigan’s hitters didn’t give up. In the bottom of the sixth, they took advantage of a pitcher who started challenging them in the strike zone. They were aggressive on the base paths and they clawed their way to a 5-4 victory.

On Saturday, the team displayed the same type of resilience. They scored first, and then lost the lead. They regained the lead, and then lost it again. And in the sixth inning once again, the lineup roughed up Wildcat pitching for a five-run frame, this time en route to a more commanding 8-4 victory.

Throughout the weekend, the Wolverines showed a resilience that I had yet to see from them (not that they needed much resilience in Big Ten play), which could help them overcome their postseason dilemma.

Indeed, every Women’s College World Series contender needs to be able to overcome deficits. They need to score in the sixth and seventh innings. And they inevitably need to win close games.

With this weekend’s series, against a quality SEC opponent, I am assured that Michigan can accomplish each of those feats.

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