Whoever says softball games are slow most likely has never met
fifth-year senior Meghan Doe.

As one of the fastest players on Michigan’s softball team,
Doe has 16 of the club’s 36 steals so far this season. In
Michigan’s 4-1 win against Indiana on Saturday, Doe collected
her 50th career steal, tying her for fourth place on
Michigan’s career-steals list.

“Coach (Carol Hutchins) has sent me more than
usual,” Doe said. “Basically I need to get on base to
steal. I’ve been working on my slides to avoid tags at second
base.”

The sliding practice has paid off. She has been caught stealing
just three times thus far this season.

Hutchins has been sending Doe more often because freshman Rebeka
Milian, who bats second behind Doe, draws the infield in when she
slap-bunts. With the infield in, Doe has a better chance to steal
successfully.

Doe’s other offensive weapon is the slap-bunt that Milian
uses. Illustrating Doe’s versatility, Hutchins explained that
if the defense is pulled in, she tries to slap the ball past them.
Conversely, if the defense backs up, she can lay down a bunt.

“She’s a play-maker,” Hutchins said.
“Her job is to get on base and make things happen — to
pull the other team out of position.”

Though Doe bats from the left side, she is naturally
right-handed. At 14, she started hitting left-handed because her
coaches wanted to take advantage of her quickness. From the left,
Doe has even less distance to run from home plate to first
base.

“I just try to set the tone of the game,” she said.
“Ideally, I try to get on base every time, so hitters behind
me can move or score me.”

Lately, Doe has been doing her job well. She had a six-game hit
streak until Michigan’s game against Indiana on Friday.

The starting center fielder’s defensive play is just as
impressive as her hitting prowess. Doe has committed just one error
so far this season.

Doe also stands out in the dugout as one of the team’s two
captains. Hutchins said that Doe’s strength as a captain is
her ability to demonstrate “leadership by example” to
her teammates.

“Meghan is one of the greatest kids I’ll ever
coach,” Hutchins said. “She has always understood what
this program is all about.”

Echoing her coach’s sentiments, Doe does not make light of
her responsibilities as captain.

“I try to lead the team both on and off the field,”
she said. “I teach the underclassmen the ways of the program
and to take pride in everything they do.”

Doe’s personal pride for playing for Michigan is no less
apparent.

“This program has defined who I am,” she said.
“I’ve grown up so much. I owe it to my coaches and
players who have taught me all I have known on and off the
field.”

This year is Doe’s fifth at Michigan, and she will be
sorely missed after the conclusion of the current season. Hutchins
said she admires her hustle, experience, confidence and good
attitude are nothing short of admirable.

“The mark of an athlete is to be able to face
adversity,” Hutchins said. “(Doe) is one of the most
resilient kids. She bounces back, and that’s a great quality
in an athlete. I would take a team full of Meghan Does.”

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