Softball Spring Slate Announced

Submitted by South Bend Wolverine on November 13th, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Michigan softball released their schedule for the 2018 season today, and it looks like a favorable one in some ways, although perhaps a bit disappointing for the home fans in terms of big match-ups.

The non-conference schedule will be highlighted by an opening-weekend match-up with recent nemesis & perennial powerhouse Florida, followed by a trip to Tallahassee for 2 games apiece against Notre Dame & Florida State.  After that, Michigan will take on some middle of the road teams in Virginia Tech & Texas before heading West for their annual trip to the Judi Garman Classic, where they'll see Baylor & UL Lafayette.  As an aside, ULL just fired their highly-successful coach a couple weeks ago for intimidation, vulgarity, and verbal & physical assault directed at players.  After that, Michigan should cruise through the back end of non-conference play, with no more marquee opponents slated.

The Big Ten schedule, meanwhile, shapes up either very favorably or very poorly, depending on your priorities.  If it's another Big Ten crown you want, Michigan is in a good spot.  They'll play the bottom 6 teams from last year's conference standings, and 7 of the bottom 8.  If you were hoping for some big-time opponents at Alumni Field, though, you'll have to hope that Michigan hosts a regional/super-regional this year.  A 3 game home-stand against Ohio State to close out the conference season is the only look Michigan will get at a Big Ten team that made the NCAA tournament.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased with this schedule.  The non-conference isn't the total murderer's row it sometimes is, which might be good as Michigan looks to get some younger players to step up & become regular contributors.  There are still enough marquee games in the non-conference, though, that this team won't be totally un-tested come tournament time.  And while I never like sailing through the Big Ten unchallenged, as it doesn't prepare the team well for NCAAs, I am very eager to start a new Big Ten title streak, so hopefully the softer conference slate will set us up well for that.

Full schedule: http://mgoblue.com/schedule.aspx?path=softball&schedule=479

Comments

tlo2485

November 13th, 2017 at 2:15 PM ^

Seems like a well thought out schedule for the freshman pitcher and young lineup. Although not as tough as normal (probably the toughest non-conference schedule most years in the country in the past by wide margins over most teams), it is still strong enough to control our own fate.

Recall, last year Minnesota's schedule was so weak in non-conference that they were ranked #1 in the polls heading into post season, and were not given a top #16 seed, lol. 

Tuebor

November 13th, 2017 at 10:28 PM ^

I'm pretty sure softball uses east/west scheduling.  Meaning that Michigan will always play Rutgers, Maryland, PSU, OSU, MSU, and IU every single year.  Then rotate through the western teams in the remaining conference series.

 

Unfortunately or not for Michigan the western teams have been better than the rest of the eastern teams lately.  Could that be a result of not playing Michigan though?  Possibly.

Solecismic

November 13th, 2017 at 11:09 PM ^

Yes, they do schedule east/west. And the rebuke from the NCAA was clear when the NCAA tournament began and not one single regional was hosted by a Big Ten team.

Risky, but the committee was vindicated when the Big Ten collectively went 0-7 against seeded teams.

We're at a huge disadvantage because of the weather. But there are a handful of solid programs. These teams should be playing each other. I don't know how you do it, but you can't play a solid early season schedule, then prep with a handful of regional fodder, then play a conference schedule almost entirely full of mediocrity, then go back and play at a high level when the tournament begins.

If the league won't do it, Hutch should swap out some of that MAC stuff for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska the week before conference play begins. Or sub them in on the occasional Tuesday or Wednesday later in the season.

These coaches are pretty much all good friends here. They will act together if they think it can make a difference.