Beaubien Top-10 Finalist for National Freshman & National Player of the Year

Beaubien Top-10 Finalist for National Freshman & National Player of the Year

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on May 10th, 2018 at 9:20 PM

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association released the lists of the top-10 finalists for the National Freshman of the Year award and the National Player of the Year award.  Fresh off taking down the Big 10 Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year titles, Meghan Beaubien continues her assault on the trophy case.

Beaubien is one of only 3 freshmen to make it onto both lists, indicating that she has a legitimate shot at the Freshman of the Year award.  She'll probably have to wait a year or two before making a serious run at National POY, but you never know.  The top 3 for both of these awards will be released on May 23, and the awards presented at a banquet before the WCWS on May 29.

Beaubien is the first Wolverine to be in the top-10 as a freshman since Sierra Romero.  I'll just leave that fact out there for you to ponder.

Links (sorry, I'm a luddite & still don't know how to hyperlink):

https://nfca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7829:schu…

https://nfca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7828:top-…

Softball Takes Game 1 of Huge OSU Series [Update: PSU Beats Minnesota; Michigan clinches share of crown!]

Softball Takes Game 1 of Huge OSU Series [Update: PSU Beats Minnesota; Michigan clinches share of crown!]

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on May 4th, 2018 at 8:23 PM

Before the season started, many pegged this OSU series as one that could determine the Big Ten championship.  In those projections, both teams were supposed to still be in the hunt.  OSU dropped out of the race early when they suffered a 3-game sweep at the hands of IU, but they still came to Ann Arbor in a position to play spoiler, as (barring a PSU upset over Minnesota) Michigan needs to win the series to clinch a share of the Big Ten crown, and needs all 3 to take the title outright.

OSU struck first in this one, knocking a lead-off home-run over the wall in the top of the 2nd.  Michigan didn't waste much time striking back, though, as a 2-out Aidan Falk walk turned into a run on the strength of singles from Taylor Swearingen & Haley Hoogenraad.  The Buckeyes grabbed the lead again in the 4th, again on a lead-off solo-shot.  After that, though, Meghan Beaubien settled in nicely, allowing just one more hit the rest of the way.  Issuing no walks while mowing down 11 via the K, Beaubien was in near-total command apart from the two long balls.

The Wolverines, for their part, weren't done on offense.  After loading the bases to no avail in the 4th, the Maize & Blue would turn the tide for good in the bottom of the 5th.  Michigan's big bats came through, as Tera Blanco started the inning off with a single, followed by a double from rising star Madison Uden, hero of the IU series.  An Aidan Falk walk would load the bases, but a strike-out put the pressure on, as Michigan again faced a 2-out, bases-loaded situation.  They wouldn't let this one go to waste, though.  Hoogenraad kept her cool & drew a crucial walk to bring in the first run, and then Lou Allan, the freshman with sky-high potential, brought in what would turn out to be the winning run on a single to the short-stop.

The series will continue with games tomorrow at 1 PM and then Sunday at 6.  Both will be on BTN, and if you don't already have a ticket, that's your only option, as the whole series has sold out!

Softball Starts Huge IU Series With 5-1 Win

Softball Starts Huge IU Series With 5-1 Win

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on April 27th, 2018 at 8:35 PM

Michigan softball began the biggest series of the year tonight, traveling down to Bloomington to take on surprise contender Indiana in a three game set.  Entering the weekend just 1 game ahead of IU in the loss column, it was imperative that the Wolverines get off on the right foot.

Early on, though, things were a little shaky.  Meghan Beaubien was not at her usual dominant standards, ceding a hit and a walk in the 1st, followed by a run off a HBP & a double in the 2nd.  Down 1-0, though, the offense started clicking.  In the 3rd, Michigan posed its first real threat of the game, loading the bases.  A strike-out would end the threat, however, giving IU a brief reprieve.

After Beaubien delivered her 1st 1-2-3 half-inning in the B3, Michigan took a lead in the T4 that they would not relinquish.  2 walks and an HBP loaded the bases for Alex Sobczak, and she tied the game with a sac fly.  Staring down the barrel of Michigan star Faith Canfield with an open base at 1st, IU decided to issue the free pass & load 'em up.  Natalie Peters didn't take kindly to IU's evaluation of her talent, and beat out a single to score the run.

After another scoreless IU half, Michigan gained some distance in the T5.  A two-run shot from "Air-Mail" Aidan Falk was followed by a solo-blast from Haley Hoogenraad, and just like that, it was 5-1 game.  Indiana would threaten in the 6th, putting 2 in scoring position with no outs, and then loading the bases with just 1 away.  Beaubien kept her cool, though, and worked out of the jam with no harm done - an alert throw from Madison Uden off a ball hit by her sister to gun down the lead runner at home helped out.  An uneventful 7th closed the book on game 1.

Michigan will face Indiana twice more this weekend, at 1 PM on Saturday, and again at 1 on Sunday.  A win tomorrow to clinch the series would go a long way to staking Michigan's claim on the Big Ten championship.  Don't sleep on Minneosta, though - they're still hanging around in the picture.  Lots of exciting softball left on the season!

Beaubien No-Hitter Clinches Sweep of Maryland, 8-0 (6 inn.)

Beaubien No-Hitter Clinches Sweep of Maryland, 8-0 (6 inn.)

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on April 22nd, 2018 at 2:16 PM

Last year, Maryland handed Michigan a surprising loss in College Park, dealing a critical blow to Michigan's Big Ten title chances.  Revenge may not have been consciously on the players' minds this weekend, but the results speak for themselves.  Michigan complete a "win with cruelty" 3-game sweep of a Terrapins team that never looked like they deserved to be on the same field with mighty Michigan.

For the 3rd straight game, Michigan rushed out to an early lead, plating a run in the 1st on a Faith Canfield solo home run.  2 more runs would pop up on the board in each of the next 3 innings, as Lou Allan would launch a long ball in the 2nd, an error and an Alexander single would add a pair in the 3rd, and Peters & Blanco would combine to drive home runs #6 & 7 in the 4th.  The 5th inning came & went quietly, before Michigan applied the coup de grace in the 6th.  An error got things started, and then 3 straight singles, from Canfield, Peters, and Blanco would bring home the game-ending run-rule score.

In the circle, Beaubien dazzled again.  Only a check-swing appeal that went Maryland's way in the top of the 6th separated her from completing a perfect game.  As it was, she threw yet another no-hitter, weed-whacking her way through the Maryland line-up with 11 Ks.  In 2 games on the weekend, Beaubien went 13 innings, allowing no earned runs, 1 hit (Friday), 1 walk (today), and racking up 18 strike-outs.  And yes, she's still just a freshman.  Settle in, folks, it's going to be a fun 4 years.

Michigan will step on the field next on Friday at 6 PM to kick off a crucial series at Indiana.  The Hoosiers, despite their terrible non-conference performance, have emerged into surprise contenders for the Big Ten regular season crown.  The team that takes next weekend's series will be in a great position to take home the Big Ten title.

Softball Wins Series Opener Over Maryland, 6-0

Softball Wins Series Opener Over Maryland, 6-0

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on April 20th, 2018 at 8:41 PM

First off, sorry for the lack of softball updates last weekend.  If you will pardon a bit of shameless horn-tooting, I didn't post anything because I was up in Minnesota for the 2018 USA Broomball National Championships.  The co-rec team I play for, District Charm, won the Co-Rec Class B Championship, so at least I was busy winning!

Anyhow, back to the champions of the West.  Michigan softball continued Big Ten play this evening with a match-up against middling Maryland.  This one was out of reach early, as a 2-run Aidan Falk double followed by a Katie Alexander sac-fly put Michigan up 3-0 after 1.  Falk & Alexander would combine to push across 2 more runs in the 3rd.  This time, it was Falk with the sac fly and Alexander with the RBI triple.  A Natalie Peters single in the 4th, driving home Natalia Rodriguez, would round out the scoring.

Freshman Meghan Beaubien was once again stellar in the circle.  It's become so predictable, especially with an over-matched team like Maryland, that these paragraphs write themselves. A bunt single in the 6th inning was the only thing separating the freshman sensation from another no-hitter.  As it was, she went 7 strong, with 7 Ks and not a walk in sight.

The series continues tomorrow at 2 PM.

NCAA Rules Force Softball to Stop Murdering PSU - Game Ends 14-2

NCAA Rules Force Softball to Stop Murdering PSU - Game Ends 14-2

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on April 6th, 2018 at 8:11 PM

Michigan was not especially interested in showing mercy tonight in Pennsylvania, but the NCAA rules require a team beating the ever-living tar out of an opponent as badly as Michigan was doing to PSU tonight to stop.  The Nittany Lions pitchers are very glad this one ended early.

After taking an inning to warm up, the offensive onslaught began in the top of the 2nd.  After freshman Lou Allan, reached on an error, senior Aidan Falk drove home the pinch-running Nikki Wald to open the scoring.  Singles from Alexander & Rodriguez tacked on 2 more runs, and provided the winning margin.  After a quiet 3rd, Michigan tacked on 2 each in the 4th (on an unlikely home run from OBP maestro Natalie Peters) and the 5th (an Allan solo-shot followed by a sac fly later on), all hell broke loose in the 6th.

PSU made the mistake of ticking Michigan off by scoring a pair in the bottom of the 5th, capitalizing on a couple rare shaky moments from Beaubien, who was in command for most of the night.  The Wolverines vented their rage, churning out 7 runs, batting around, and chasing the PSU starter.  When all was said & done, just about every Wolverine had at least a run, a hit, or an RBI.  Canfield & Uden both put up 3 hits, while Peters & Allan posted 2 apiece.

While mercy has been shown for now, the series resumes tomorrow at 3 PM.  Look for the violence to continue against a PSU team with only 6 wins on the season.

Blanco Blasts Bury Boilers in Big Blowout, 11-1

Blanco Blasts Bury Boilers in Big Blowout, 11-1

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on March 31st, 2018 at 1:20 PM

Softball continued their winning ways today, shelling a Purdue Boilermakers pitching staff that was clearly in over their heads in this one.

Tera Blanco was the hero at the dish, launching a solo shot in the 4th, followed by a 3-RBI blast in the 5th to walk off in run-rule fashion, all part of a 3-for-3 performance.  The first homer went so far that it landed on the Ray Fisher Stadium outfield, drawing roars of approval from the baseball team.  She was not alone in finding her hitting stroke today, though, as Faith Canfield also went 3-for-3, and both Aidan Falk & Katie Alexander chipped in 2-hit efforts.  Nearly everyone got in on the action as the Maize & Blue pounded out 14 hits in less than 5 full innings of work.

In the circle, Meghan Beaubien was once again in control in the early going.  She did cede a walk and a hit in her 3 innings of work, taking a third straight Wolverine no-hitter off the table.  With nothing to prove and a big lead in hand, Hutch decided to save her ace's arm, sending Sarah Schaefer out to finish the job.  Schaefer went 2 innings and was a little wobbly, allowing 4 hits, 2 BBs, and an ultimately-meaningless run.  Still, the more innings she can accumulate the better, both for her development and for the sake of Beaubien's endurance.

1 game remains in the 3-game set, a 1 PM Easter Sunday match-up.  This one will be on BTN, so tune in after lunch & hopefully catch another big W!

Freshman Beaubien Hurls No-Hitter Over Purdue, 4-0

Freshman Beaubien Hurls No-Hitter Over Purdue, 4-0

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on March 30th, 2018 at 6:22 PM

After a disappointing opening to Big Ten play last weekend, featuring a split & a cancellation of the rubber game, Michigan softball got back into conference action today against a struggling Purdue squad.  A mid-week tune-up against Detroit Mercy bridged the gap - the Wolverines won that 15-0 in 5 innings, with Beaubien & Schaefer combining for the no-no.

Today, it was all Beaubien in the circle, and she was dominant.  1 HBP was all that separated the freshman from tossing a perfect game.  No walks were forthcoming, and Beaubien racked up 8 Ks to round out an impressive stat line.  Hopefully this is a sign that, after a couple wobbly performances (at least by her sky-high standards), Beaubien is now back on track for conference play.

Offensively, Michigan didn't get a ton going, but they did enough.  A pair of wild pitches plated a couple of runs in the 1st, and Tera Blanco (the only Wolverine to post more than a single hit on the day) put things out of reach in the 5th, driving home a 2-RBI single.

Michigan has 2 match-ups left against the Boilermakers this weekend, going toe-to-toe tomorrow morning at 11 AM, followed by an Easter Sunday clash at 1 PM that will be featured on the Big Ten Network.

Bats Boom, Blanco, Beaubien Bash Baylor Bears [Update: Beats ULL As Well]

Bats Boom, Blanco, Beaubien Bash Baylor Bears [Update: Beats ULL As Well]

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on March 2nd, 2018 at 6:01 PM

A scuffling UM softball team seized a huge opportunity to set things back in the right direction today, topping #8 Baylor 6-3 our in California.  Multiple rain delays dragged the affair out, but in the end, it was all to the good for the Maize & Blue, who finally got a big offensive performance against a big-time team.

Michigan scored in each of the first 4 innings, highlighted by a 3-run Tera Blanco homer in the top of the 1st, her first of two hits.  Faith Canfield also homered, and went 4-4 on the day.  Aidan Falk rounded out the multi-hit club, going 3-3.  Encouragingly, freshman Lou Allan saw extended action for the first time all year, and picked up a hit as well.

Defensively, Meghan Beaubien went the distance and picked up the win.  It wasn't her strongest outing, as she surrendered 5 hits, including a 3-run home-run in the 6th to open the door for some late inning drama.  She came back strong, however, with a 1-2-3 inning the B7 to slam the door on Baylor's comeback hopes.

This is a huge marquee win for Michigan, their second on the season, to go with a W over FSU two weeks ago.  Michigan gets one more opportunity at a top-25 scalp against #18 ULL, starting shortly.  After that, a string of lower-tier opponents will round out the non-conference slate.

[Update: The momentum kept rolling in game 2, as Michigan took down the ULL Ragin' Cajuns 3-1.  Michigan jumped out to an early lead, and it was all about Faith Canfield.  She crushed the first pitch of the game over the fence, and drove in 2 more runs in the 2nd with a single.  Pitching was by committee, with Schaefer throwing 2 innings, Blanco 4, and Beaubien 1, picking up a 1-2-3 save.  Cal Poly will round out the Judi Garman slate Saturday at 9:30 AM Pacific]

Softball Opens Judi Garman Classic with a Win [Update: 2 Wins]

Softball Opens Judi Garman Classic with a Win [Update: 2 Wins]

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on March 1st, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Every year at this time, Michigan's softball team treks West to participate in the annual Judi Garman Classic, which features a wide field of teams of all levels from around the country.  This year, the Wolverines opened play with a match-up against a weak Loyola Marymount team.

Despite their unimpressive record, the LMU Lions managed to give Michigan some significant trouble in this one.  Freshman phenom Meghan Beaubien was in command for most of the game, but one slip up in the 2nd cost her 2 runs on a LMU homer.  Michigan started to scratch back in the B3 as Alex Sobczak made her way around the bases 60 feet at a time, taking advantage of a sac bunt, a ground out, and an error to make it a 2-1 game.

A Tera Blanco single in the 5th opened the door for Rodriguez to tie it up, but Michigan was unable to take the lead.  After a blank 6th inning, Beaubien retired the Lions in order to start the 7th, and Michigan came to the plate knowing they just needed 1 run for the W.  Three straight singles from Canfield, Peters, and Blanco got the job done, and Michigan walked off with a 3-2 win.

It's not one for the record books, and it won't do much to assuage concerns about the Wolverine offense, but the team managed to avoid a bad loss today.  Hopefully it was just a matter of a long flight, jet lag, and an early start time.  The team will have what should be a tune-up game against Charlotte at noon Pacific Time today before two crucial games against Baylor and ULL tomorrow.

Update: The team beat the Charlotte 49ers 5-0 in the second game of the day.  Most of the damage was done over the course of a 4-run 4th inning.  That outburst was encouragingly highlighted by a 2-RBI single from freshman Lou Allan, who has been out with injury thus far this season.  In the circle, Tera Blanco and Sarah Schaefer combined for the shutout, scattering 5 hits.