Peppers at 10, which seems low.
What better way to get over the malaise of realizing how much work is ahead of us in football (although major progress has clearly already been made & the rest is underway!) than a reminder of the payoff that patience can have? Carol Hutchins took over a program in a low place in the softball pantheon and built a perennial powerhouse in Ann Arbor, but it took her years of steady improvement to do it. Now we get our first glimpse of the 2016 edition of her work, although things will look very familiar to those fans who followed the 2015 season.
The team will play 6 fall exhibition games, 4 in a mini tournament in Traverse City against Oakland, WMU, and CMU (round robin + championship/consolation games) and 2 more in a home-and-home with Sparty. Not as exciting of a slate as last fall, when we hosted Kentucky is what was billed as a "fall super-regional", but it'll be a good chance to get a first look at the team. The number 1 question will be who is behind the plate on defense. If we settle in with a catcher early on, especially one with a solid bat, we're gonna have a good time.
So here in Salisbury, North Carolina we're celebrating our local girls team winning the Little League World Series of Softball. They are a great group of everyday kids with big hearts and drive. Two items of note:
After defeating the team from Rwanda, they noticed that the Rwanda players were carrying their personal equipment in their hands and as they had no bags for them. So, they pooled up money (ok, their parent's money, but still) and purchased bags and souvenir pictures for each Rwanda team member to take home.
The other item of note was their particular practice of "making pizza" during their games. Spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, etc. Wonder where they got that?
Edit: The Rwanda game was earlier in the week. Not the finals. Sorry for the confusion.
I've seen this mentioned a few times elsewhere, but I figured it warranted its own thread.
On Thursday 6/4, Athletics is holding a welcome-back party at Alumni Field for Team 38. Per MGoBlue:
The U-M community will gather Thursday to welcome the national runner-up Wolverines back to campus. A 3 p.m. arrival time is anticipated, and fans should gather at Alumni Field around that time. Michigan Athletics will communicate specific arrival details as soon as they are known. Text "SoftballReturn" to 54815 and/or follow @umichsoftball to get accurate, official information throughout the day on Thursday.
I know it's the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, but everyone that can come out should. It would mean a lot to the girls to have a full house to congratulate them on their tremendous season. Plus, a little bird tells me your favorite Alumni Band will even be there.
samdrussBLUE called for it, and it's true - we need a stay calm thread here, not a meltdown one. That game was frustrating as hell, and we missed some big chances, there's no denying it. Still, it's a series for a reason, and this team is not done playing. Last time we dropped the first game of a series, we went on to beat Minny 9-4, 9-1 (6 inn.) on the road. Last time we dropped the first game of a WCWS Finals series, we won the whole damn thing. Let's keep it together until this amazing team has battled through the final out. And even if the worst happens, we're going to tip our damn caps to these women who have worked wonders all year, not melt down. They deserve better.
The softball team left for Oklahoma City and the WCWS today, ahead of their Thursday match up with Alabama (7:00 pm ET, ESPN2). The ASA/USA Player of the Year award (softball Heisman) will be announced tonight and Michigan's Sierra Romero -- already the recipient of ESPNW's POY award and MGoBoard's Chick that Knocks the Fuck Out of the Ball award -- is one of three finalists. Here are some tweets and reading material for those interested.
— Carol Hutchins (@UMCoachHutch) May 26, 2015
— Michigan Softball (@umichsoftball) May 26, 2015
- Inside Pitch with LC: Eight Things That Led Team 38 to OKC: Catcher Lauren Connell provides a view from inside the team on the Super Regional and the preparation for the WCWS.
- 5 Questions Heading Into Women's College World Series: ESPNW's Graham Hays writes a great primer on the WCWS and what to look out for. Touches on Romo, Christner, Betsa, and the Michigan-Alabama game.
- Sierra Romero is Michigan's Derek Jeter: Angelique Chengelis bio piece on Romo, details Hutch's comparison of her to Jeter.
- Dancing helps Michigan softball boost energy, maintain chemistry in push for national title: Justin Hicks covers the most important key to the team's success. This one is from before the Super Regional, but still a fun read.