Michigan softball and baseball teams are surging near top of Big Ten

If you haven't been paying attention to Michigan softball and Michigan baseball, it's about time to start.
Feb 23, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; The Michigan Wolverines plays against the Oklahoma State Cowboys
Feb 23, 2024; Arlington, TX, USA; The Michigan Wolverines plays against the Oklahoma State Cowboys / Brett Patzke-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend and the Wolverines are right in the thick of the championship hunt.

The Michigan softball team has caught fire recently, winning 13 games in a row which included a weekend sweep of Penn State. The previous sweep was over Nebraska. Michigan entered the top 25 this week, right at No. 25 and trail Northwestern by a half game going into this weekend.

Ohio State is on tap for the Wolverines who close out a three-game series at home. Lauren Derkowski has been a driving force behind much of the Wolverines success and was stellar in two starts over the weekend. She tossed a complete game on Sunday, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out 12. She also had a seven-inning shutout on Friday in which she struck out nine.

Derkowski is 15-7 on the season with a 2.19 ERA. She's averaging more than a strikeout per inning and oppsing teams are hitting .231. Offensively, she's getting help from a balanced attack that features six batters with more than 20 RBI.

Junior Ellie Sieler leads the team in average (.364), on-base percentage (.441) and runs scored (42). Maddie Erickson has also been a force hitting .363 while pacing Michigan softball in hits (62), and RBI (40). She's second in homers with 10. Keke Tholl is leading Mcihigan in that category with 14.

The Michigan baseball team is also surging winning nine of their last 11 games. They swept Long Beach State this past weekend in a three-game non-conference series to improve to 23-21 overall. But they are 10-5 in the Big Ten, which is just one game out of first place. Michigan is currently in a three-way tie for third with Nebraska and Indiana.

The Wolverines pay a visit to Sparty for a three-game set this weekend, but also host Purdue, which is tied with Illinois for first and Indiana. The schedule isn't easy but if Michigan baseball could win all three series, you never know. With their overall record what it is though, the Wolverines are likely going to need to win the Big Ten tournament to make the NCAA tournament. They did it two years ago, but that under Erik Bakich. Still, Tracy Smith has Mchigan playing well of late.


Michigan's offense is led by Mack Timbrook who is batting .345 and is second on the team in runs scored with 34. Stephen Hrustich leads the Wolverines in runs (36) and homers (10). Mitch Voit, who also pitches, is second in homers (7) and RBI (35). He's also got a team-high 18 doubles plus a 5-3 record on the mound and 41 strikeouts. Kurt Barr leads the Wolverines on the mound in ERA and has won his last three starts, allowing just 42 runs in 21 innings of work.