#14 M Softball vs MSU Live now on BTN [M wins 8-0 in 5 innings]

Submitted by tlo2485 on May 2nd, 2018 at 4:05 PM

Vital game on right now, the standings in the Big Ten sit at:

1. Michigan 15-2 (now @ MSU, 3 vs OSU)

2. Minnesota 15-3 (3 vs PSU) 

3. Indiana 16-4 (3 @ Rutgers)

 

No room for error.

 

This is a makeup game from earlier this season due to weather. Michigan lost to Western Michigan yesterday (with a lot of bench players in the lineup including Shafer as pitcher). That officially ends any outside chance of hosting a regional. Michigan will be an absolute nightmare of a matchup for whichever team we are sent to in the post season. 

Comments

1975Blue

May 2nd, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

will be a nightmare matchup in the regional, when they struggle to take 2 out of 3 from a below .500 Indiana team, get taken to the woodshed by Western, and struggle to beat MSU.  

The hitting on this team is not strong enough to win a regional.  Remember they were beaten easily by Washington in a regional last year.  

Watching From Afar

May 2nd, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

The pitching staff is top 4 in ERA.

The 3 teams above them in ERA are all postseason teams.

Hitting isn't on fire or anything, but they're 19th there.

There are 5 teams with better batting averages who they might see in the postseason.

Obviously these stats aren't adjusted for their opponents (and the Big Ten generally isn't good at softball) and I haven't followed the season all that closely, but they don't appear to be doomed in the early postseason.

ak47

May 2nd, 2018 at 4:51 PM ^

Elite pitching does a lot for you but this team feels a year away due to the offense. Any elite hitting freshman coming in next year?

tlo2485

May 2nd, 2018 at 4:58 PM ^

Two score on a Hoogenraad single through the infield, past the "stud" MSU second baseman (who did have some good plays so far)... 2-0 Michigan 

1975Blue

May 2nd, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

is largely dependent on RPI, and a team must be in the top 16 RPI ranking.   Last year Minnesota ended the season ranked in the top 10 polls, won the BIG regular season and tourney titles, but did not host a regional.  Minnesota was #17 in RPI and had to travel to Alabama to play #16 RPI Crimson Tide. 

tlo2485

May 2nd, 2018 at 5:31 PM ^

Minnesota wasn't just top 10, they were ranked #1. AND the committee released their early poll, like they do in basketball now, and had Minny in the top 8 both times.... and then mysteriously dropped them completely out in the final bracket (during that time, Minnesota did NOT lose and won the B1G regular season title and Tournament over Michigan).... it was crazy. they probably didnt have any subs on their way to tuscaloosa.

1975Blue

May 2nd, 2018 at 5:33 PM ^

the WMU game.  They wanted to save the #1 pitcher for today's game against MSU.  UM played their regular lineup in the field, and they could only score 2 runs.  Plus our #2 and #3 pitchers did not have a good outing.   WMU just took them to the woodshed yesterday.   

Solecismic

May 2nd, 2018 at 7:04 PM ^

Playing in the Big Ten East, there's nothing Michigan can or could have done to host a regional. Even if they were on a 35-game winning streak right now.

The worry is that any loss will get them closer to a situation like last year's, having to visit an excellent team like Washington in a regional.

Hutch has always done a good job getting the team to decent tournaments in February and March. The problem is, with the SEC coming on line en masse, that just about everyone plays decent tournaments now.

They're going to have to work harder to schedule only elite tournaments in the future if they ever want to host another regional. Plus, someone has to convince that poor excuse for a Big Ten commissioner that the current scheduling format for softball is a terrible one. Michigan needs to play Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern every year because they take the sport more seriously.

Alton

May 2nd, 2018 at 8:15 PM ^

I agree with pretty much all of this.  I will add that SEC teams, with a couple of notable exceptions, do an excellent job of avoiding games against quality non-conference opponents.  You absolutely have to give credit to Florida for being willing to play the toughest home non-conference schedule that they can put together.  (Their unwillingness to play NC games north of the Florida-Georgia border is a separate issue).

With teams like Michigan being increasingly shut out of quality non-conference games, the SEC is gaming the RPI the same way that they do in baseball.  The NCAA baseball committee is more willing to ignore RPI and give credit to good teams with tough non-conference schedules than the softball committee is.  Baseball has also built a "home field advantage" adjustment to their RPI, and softball refuses to do so.

Result:  the SEC gets the easiest path to the WCWS, and the tournament seeds in softball are a self-fulfilling prophecy to a much greater extent than any other sport.  Home advantage is huge.

 

RoseInBlue

May 2nd, 2018 at 8:29 PM ^

Had we played the Mary Nutter tournament this year as usual, I think our non-conference schedule (and in turn, our RPI) would have been fine as that always pits us against several high quality, high RPI teams.  For whatever reason, we replaced that with that Texas Invitational tournament instead.  Maybe they got squeezed out like you said, I don't know.  But Hutch usually schedules the hardest non-con she can get.

Alton

May 2nd, 2018 at 8:34 PM ^

I think possibly Hutch took into account the fact that Michigan would have a true freshman starting pitcher, and wanted to make the early season just a little bit easier than usual.  Hopefully the schedule gets back to the way it was next year.

But I still stand by the assertion that quality SEC programs like Tennessee and Alabama (and, lately, Georgia) are avoiding the top-level competition.

Wolverine Devotee

May 2nd, 2018 at 6:01 PM ^

I was at the debacle that shall not be named last night. 

Total turnaround in less than 24 hours. Couldn't have asked for a better response. Fantastic in every facet of the game!!!

Michigan has swept MSU for the 9th straight season and is now 9-0 all-time at Secchia Stadium. This was Michigan's 90th win in the series, holding a dominant 90-28 all-time record against MSU.

Softball academy is tomorrow for the team and then they'll face OSU on Friday at 6pm. 

 

South Bend Wolverine

May 2nd, 2018 at 6:29 PM ^

Hugely important win, no doubt, and glad to see them do it in dominant style after some rough games the last few days.  Gotta keep it going over the weekend to really make it count.  Home stretch here, margin for error is nil.