Michigan Wolverine Softball: Michigan Goes For Big Prize


Michigan Softball Posted at 6:00am — -5/19/2015

Michigan Wolverine Softball: Michigan Goes For Big Prize

Super Again

Well, just to let you know, Chill and Doc continued to watch Michigan rock again at this weekend’s pod regional that included Cal-Berkeley, Pittsburgh, and Oakland as visitors. Some are disappointed that U of M could not put Pittsburgh away on a mercy, but the ultimate prize of a win far exceeds that ego-tender concern.

After viewing the Big tournament the week before, my verdict is that Michigan played competition equal to the Big Ten, certainly in no way superior to Nebraska and Minnesota. Each of the three teams had decent pitching, albeit for the most part the other staffs were one-pitcher units.

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Michigan came out of the gate a little tentative and needed help from Oakland mistakes to gain control. At the end, Michigan created enough offensive production to pull out the mercy win. Several balls were well hit, but as is common in diamond games, hard shots do not always equal hits. Sierra Lawrence seemed snake-bit for much of the tournament, but when it counted the most, she found a gap, the fence, or better yet the area past the outfield fence.

Michigan next played California. Watching California warm-up for an hour or so, it was clear the Bears had super athletic talent. The shortstop was a superior athlete. The game looked tight as Michigan came out swinging and early on got under the ball for easy fly outs. Then, the Wolverine hitters took the high risers for balls and made the pitches come down. Michigan then got on top of the ball and hit several nice line drive home runs and broke the game open. It was s super game to watch and experience. The girls were in fine form in the Cal game, both on the field and in the dugout.

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines /

Michigan Wolverines

A mentally tough Pittsburgh team, who was clearly outmanned, took out California with essentially one big swing. Michigan then took it to Pittsburgh early in what turned out to be the championship game.

Some things stood out this weekend and are discussed briefly below. First, the tail end of the line up more than carried its weight, the contributions of the 7 to 9 hole hitters were valuable in setting up the table, continuing innings, and even scoring big runs. Second, the young freshmen and sophomores, many at the tail end of the lineup, did as noted above. Place those two variables together and the offense should succeed. Third, the left handed hitters are moving the ball very well, pulling it when needed and going to left on outside corner and change up pitches. Few Wolverines are watching called third strikes. Last, even though Sierra Romero is still the obvious go-to star, everyone else in the lineup is contributing in a positive manner. This is how teams advance.

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  • Michigan will play Georgia in the best two of three series next week in the super regional matchup. This team has won 23 games in a row. The competition steps up with SEC Georgia, who looked DOA but survived. ESPN seems very pleased with the glut of SEC teams in the Sweet 16 of softball, so pleased that somehow the scheduled Michigan Sunday game on ESPNU did not show, but tons of bit highlights of the SEC games seemed to bring about plenty of emotive quality in the announcers.

    Michigan needs to play even better next week. Georgia has played much tougher competition the last 6 weeks. Although, Michigan early on played about everyone of note before the conference season started. This matchup is far from a **-hum deal. Hopefully Haylie Wagner is much more ready. Coach Hutch saw enough to pull Haylie early and go with Megan Betsa at money time. Betsa has demonstrated a clear ability to escape trouble when down in the count or pitching with runners on base. Not everyone can do that and those who can are aces.

    How good is this team? Michigan is a very good team and one that should be super next year, assuming Wagner can be replaced. When two very good teams play, the game typically comes down to little things, execution, throwing strikes, and finding a way to make the big play, either at bat or in the field. As some old coaches say- “Let’s tee it up and see what happens.”

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    Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

    Go Blue — Wear Maize!