It”s an old clich and a Rolling Stones trademark tune.
“You can”t always get what you want.”
Weeks ago, the Michigan softball team couldn”t wait for the chance to practice in the dirt and grass outside Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. Now, with Alumni Field welcoming the action, the Wolverines grabbed the equipment and threw on some coats.
But practicing outside is not all its cracked up to be.
In the bitter cold, infielder Liz Elsner hit a grounder to center field that would have been a base hit, had the team been playing a real game.
She dropped the bat and hunched over in pain.
“That one hurt,” she said.
Pitcher Marissa Young hit a long line drive to left that spurred cheers from her teammates. But she immediately threw her bat against the fence, clutching her right wrist.
Between the vibration of the metal bat hitting the balls and the players” already cold bones, each swing shot a painful jolt through the joint.
“In this weather the vibration can be very painful,” coach Carol Hutchins said. “Your bones are cold, the bat is cold, the ball is cold it”s tough.”
But the Wolverines will have to put all the stings aside this weekend , when they compete in Chicago and Champaign.
Today, the 24th-ranked Wolverines (11-9) play a doubleheader against No. 10 DePaul (17-7-1) and begin their Big Ten schedule against Illinios (28-12) with games tomorrow and Sunday.
The last time Michigan met DePaul was last season”s NCAA Regional Tournament in which the Wolverines lost both matchups the first time the Blue Demons defeated Michigan in series history.
“We schedule them because they are always a good team,” Hutchins said. “The chance of us running into DePaul again is really great, so meeting them early like this is a chance for us to build some confidence.”
DePaul”s ace, Sarah Martz, will give the Wolverines some trouble as she has racked up 67 total strikeouts with a 0.63 ERA. The Blue Demons are hitting .258 as a whole while holding their opponents to just .184.
Michigan”s batting practice has gone well. But there is anything that should confuse the hitters it will be seeing double DePaul”s first baseman and second baseman, Sarah and Christina Douglas, are identical twins.
Tomorrow, Michigan will face Illinois for the first time, as this is the Fighting Illini”s inaugural season as part of the Big Ten. It”s true that Michigan”s experience will have an advantage over the newcomers, but Illinois cannot be brushed off.
“We can”t look down on Illinois because they are a new team they are good,” Hutchins said.
As the team starts its Big Ten matchups, “I don”t think it gets easier because the intensity really goes up,” Hutchins said. “We play 20 games, and whether we play Illinois or whether we play Iowa all the wins and all the losses count the same.”