Michigan Wolverine Softball: Looking Back at BTT — Part I


Michigan Softball Posted at 5:00am — -5/12/2015

Michigan Wolverine Softball: Looking Back at BTT — Part I

Occasionally, there is a benefit/luxury for being in Cowtown, Ohio. This past week was one such example as the Women’s Big Ten Softball Tournament was held on the campus of Ohio State at Buckeye Field. The Saturday games involved the four finalists (of the twelve participants) in afternoon games and a late starting evening championship game. The games and final results were most pleasing. We both greatly enjoyed the competition and the results. Although we dodged one storm that passed about 15 miles to the east. Fast pitch softball is a tough game that demands focus and competitive drive. The weak retreat to the dugout.

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There is a perception out in the cerebral mist that the Big Ten is weak in Women’s softball. Part of this perception may be falsely based on Michigan’s normal dominance. The league is not near the PAC 12 or SEC quality, but considering the members are east coast and Midwest, with many teams signing in-state players, the league makes the best of what talent can be assembled. California is the vault of softball players and the Michigan roster is fortunate to continue having the benefit of west coast talent, as highlighted by players like Sierra Romero.

Minnesota is a very strong team, one that ran into an Iowa team that came to play in the tournament. Iowa was the prototypical team that one could say “you have to beat them.” The Hawkeyes were relentless and gave no room for easy conquest. On Friday night Iowa, mainly due to gritty pitching in the clutch, held off the number two seed Gophers for the major upset of the weekend.

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines /

Michigan Wolverines

Nebraska is another strong team. The Cornhuskers have very good athletic talent that translates to a notable team. The big strength of the Great Plains group is hitting. This team does not go down meekly simply by seeing good pitching. The first two hitters are fast pate setters and the meat of the order can play “green ball” deep into the outfield. Nebraska’s primary two pitchers throw hard and possess what every good college softball pitcher must have, a strong change-up.

Both teams mentioned above will likely be among the 64 teams selected late Sunday night, Minnesota for sure. Michigan is one of the 32 automatic choices, Minnesota and Nebraska will have to rely on garnering one of the 32 at-large bids. There are others who are hoping for the “bubble call.” Ohio State scored a record fifteen runs in the first inning against Indiana on the way to another record 24 run production. Then, Nebraska ended Ohio State’s run in the quarterfinals.

Michigan should certainly be one of the 16 seeded teams that will host a regional, since the Wolverines are ranked, depending on the source, in the top eight. This should provide an opportunity for those of you who are local to Ann Arbor for a nice weekend of entertainment.

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  • Those among you who have coached in sudden elimination baseball or softball tournaments understand that there are no givens, no automatics; no guaranteed victories. Strange things can happen, but the cream usually, but not always, rises to the top. But the big dog can be sent to the kennel out of the gate or late in the frey. The favorite may or may not be the best team, but what counts most is who is better that particular game. Coaches hope that the leading variables do not change; the best hitters do not come up empty and the ace pitcher throws strikes and challenges the other teams’ strength. One variable coaches do hope for is the possibility of the unknown hero coming out of nowhere to seize the moment.

    Michigan’s variables fell into place this weekend. One reason is true dominance, but more so the quality of consistency. One great sports mantra goes as follows: consistency is the hallmark of a champion. This Michigan team is consistent and talented; therefore the team is also league champion.

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    Written by GBMWolverine Writer/Staff — Chris Hill and Doc4Blu

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