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05/20/2018 - 7:13pm I'll miss these players for

I'll miss these players for sure.  It's been a lot of fun helping to cover them, along with a few other folks around here, and I'm happy for them getting the Big Ten crown back as seniors.  I'm sure they're also a little disappointed with how the post-season has gone the last couple years, but that's not enough to overshadow some pretty great achievements.

One particularly bittersweet note - the last players from the hallowed "Year of the Pizza" team have now moved on.  The world of college sports moves fast.

05/20/2018 - 7:09pm This is a good example of a

This is a good example of a critical comment that I don't mind.  It's not nasty & there's some actual thought that went into it.  Not the post I was going to make, but it adds something to the thread.  I appreciate people taking different angles in this sort of manner.

05/20/2018 - 7:05pm Dude, cut it out.  You show

Dude, cut it out.  You show up in softball threads just to take pot shots at the team.  You contribute zero worthwhile analysis ever.  You just try to make everyone else feel bad about enjoying following the team, because they are not good enough for you.  I have no idea why you feel the need to do this, but it's really, really lame.  I'm not sorry about the fact that I love this team.

05/18/2018 - 4:57pm Well, when I say ages, I'm

Well, when I say ages, I'm partly refering to the fact that, even with a better set up, the Big 10 at best gives us 2 or 3 series against teams that are quality on a national scale.  So it's always been a problem, but now they've gone and made it much, much worse.

05/18/2018 - 4:47pm Lol, ok.  I'm just being

Lol, ok.  I'm just being realistic here - yes, they might find a way to advance, but it is highly unlikely at this point.  It is not unreasonable to do a little reflecting on the season as a whole.  In general, I'm pretty dang positive about the softball program & Carol Hutchins especially.  For those of us who are really emotionally invested in the team, though, these last couple weeks have been a gut punch.  You can't "positive outlook" your way around that.

05/18/2018 - 4:42pm It's been a problem for ages,

It's been a problem for ages, even before Maryland & Rutgers came into the conference, but adding them plus bringing back the Big 10 tournament has been absolutely brutal on our strength of schedule.  I like racking up big win totals as much as anyone, but its terrible for our strength of schedule and for our tournament preparation.

05/18/2018 - 4:35pm Well, shit.
I gotta say, in

Well, shit.

I gotta say, in the grand scheme, I can never be too disappointed with a Big 10 championship season.  But everything that's happened since we locked up the regular season title has just been soul-crushing.  Hope next year can be a lot better.

05/18/2018 - 4:02pm Unbelievable.  Talk about

Unbelievable.  Talk about being unable to get out of your own way.  5th inning completely, and needlessly, wasted.

05/18/2018 - 1:17pm They've had some stumbles

They've had some stumbles lately, but over the course of the season, we've had one of the best defenses in the nation.  If we could just string together a few more hits, this would be an elite team.  Unfortunately, it's a little late in the season to be hoping for that.

05/18/2018 - 1:10pm Sigh, was really hoping to

Sigh, was really hoping to not have another one of these games where the offense slops around.  I miss 2015 something awful at times like this.  Lots of time left, but Beaubien's going to have to be stellar.

05/18/2018 - 1:03pm So, I meant to have a

So, I meant to have a regional preview up last night and then sit down to watch the game today.  But my internet's been down since Wednesday night, and I have only just now been able to get to the library to log on.  What's worse, my TV is down along with the internet, so I'm only following this one online.  Very frustrating - hope the game goes better than my last couple days have been! :P

05/14/2018 - 11:21am Hutch is definitely what got

Hutch is definitely what got me into Michigan softball - what she's done against tremendous odds is absolutely incredible.  That's why, while I'll get down & frustrated during a game, I never get into the negative mindset some posters take about the program, as if the fact that we haven't won a second WCWS title makes it a failure or something.  The standard Hutch has set is incredibly high, and she continues to do it despite huge obstacles.  Wouldn't change her for anything!

05/14/2018 - 1:08am Great take.  Btw, I've really

Great take.  Btw, I've really been appreciating your softball takes lately in general.  You're a bit more level-headed than I am - I'll admit, especially in my in-game commentary, I get pretty emotional about it!  You're bringing some great insights to the table, hope to keep hearing more!

05/13/2018 - 11:12pm Depends what you think your

Depends what you think your ceiling is.  Right now, I have a hard time seeing Michigan get past the supers unless something weird happens, so I'm happy with a draw that gives us a legit chance of getting that far - easier regional = harder super-regional, and this year, that trade-off is worth it.  If you think your team has legit WCWS potential, Minnesota has a better draw for going farther, but each step along the way will be tougher.

05/13/2018 - 11:06pm I'm pretty pleased with

I'm pretty pleased with this.  WCWS was always a long shot this season, esp. after the way they've played the last few weeks.  Because of that, I like a regional that gives us a legit shot at a super-regional berth, and this definitely does.  No one here is invincible, and only the 4 seed is too weak to have a shot at advancing.  With Beaubien in the circle, provided she plays like she has for 99% of the season and not like she did against MSU, I like our chances in this group.  Oregon looms as a hellbeast, but you never know, and even reaching the supers this year would be a solid achievement for a re-loading team.

05/12/2018 - 2:01am 7-0 final.  F.

7-0 final.  F.

05/12/2018 - 2:00am Something like that, yeah. 

Something like that, yeah.  We've absolutely owned MSU for pretty much the whole time I've been following softball (since 2008).  These 2 tournament games are the only two losses I can even remember against them.  I'm probably forgetting one from 8 years ago or something, but it's been few & far between apart from these.

05/12/2018 - 1:22am Ah, dammit, you had to pull

Ah, dammit, you had to pull at the heartstrings - especially since I grew up in Saline! :)  Well, I don't have to like her, but I will agree that she's a dang good player.  One of the highest compliments you can pay a rival is to say you'll be glad they're graduating - and I'm sure glad that she won't be around to give us fits anymore!

05/12/2018 - 1:18am I'm not saying we win this

I'm not saying we win this game without the HBPs, but both were crucial, and both were horrible calls.  The pitches were over the plate, they hit the batters on the hands while they were actively leaning towards the ball.  It hurts, and that sucks, but that's not a HBP.

05/12/2018 - 1:17am They've only been above .500

They've only been above .500 in Big 10 play 4 times in their history, never since 2003, and they've never finished higher than 3rd in the conference.  They're not an evil program like Dantonio or Izzo (although they did have a scandal a few years ago when a player accused the coaches of deliberately beaning her in practice - faded away b/c nothing was ever proven).  But they are, historically, shit.

05/12/2018 - 1:07am I've followed a lot of

I've followed a lot of Michigan softball over the last decade.  This may well be the single ugliest game I've ever seen in that span.  Not the most painful loss (Florida, 2015, by a mile), not the biggest margin of defeat, but ugliest.  MSU is a shit team with a garbage coach.  They're going nowhere, and they never have been.  And yet somehow, they're going to oust us from the Big 10 tourney 2 years running, and this time it won't even be close.  The worst part is that this game vindicates the entire careers of everyone on that underachieving squad.  Sickening.

05/12/2018 - 12:50am Strike 3 gets called ball 4. 

Strike 3 gets called ball 4.  Fuck this shit.  Once the ump's decided the outcome like this, there's no point in watching.  This whole fucking inning got started because Sparty leaned into a pitch.  Unbelievable.

05/12/2018 - 12:43am And an error turns a

And an error turns a fielder's choice into runners at 2nd & 3rd, no outs.  Fuck this game.

05/12/2018 - 12:42am Sparty leans into another

Sparty leans into another one.  2 HBPs that were over the plate, off the hands of the MSU players.  Florida-ing it up out there.  FFS.

05/12/2018 - 12:39am Falk hits one hard, but too

Falk hits one hard, but too much up & not enough out.  Still down 2, heading to the 5th.  Running low on opportunities in this one, gotta get started soon.

05/12/2018 - 12:37am Alexander works the 2-out

Alexander works the 2-out walk.  For Pete's sake, can we get a little rally or something here?

05/12/2018 - 12:28am Announcers love an upset, and

Announcers love an upset, and she's having a good game.  Not that it isn't bugging the crap out of me, of course - the MSU slappiness from the commentators is making this frustrating game that much harder to endure.

05/12/2018 - 12:26am MSU wastes the opportunity

MSU wastes the opportunity with an ill-advised bunt.  Looks like the MSU batter caught a cramp or something going down the 1st base line, too.  0-2, B4.

05/12/2018 - 12:24am 2-out double for MSU. 

2-out double for MSU.  Beaubien's been looking better, but this Forrester girl is giving her trouble.  Need this next out.

05/12/2018 - 12:19am Looks like another promising

Looks like another promising class.  Got a few top-60 types in the mix, plus another pitcher.  Here's an article on the group:…

05/12/2018 - 12:17am Inning ends on a BS

Inning ends on a BS interference call.  Michigan trying to steal 2nd and the incompetent MSU catcher throws the ball of Peter's bat.  Incredibly frustrating.

05/12/2018 - 12:15am Couple of ground-outs, and

Couple of ground-outs, and then Faith Canfield hits a little chip-shot for the first hit of the game.  Runner on 1st, 2 out.

05/12/2018 - 12:11am MSU gets a walk but nothing

MSU gets a walk but nothing more.  0-2, going to the B3.

Also, I love the announcers bringing up these "fun facts" about our record against MSU in the tournament ... without mentioning the fact that for a long time, there WAS NO B10 tourney!!  Gotta love context-free info.

05/12/2018 - 12:08am Wow, who pissed in your

Wow, who pissed in your cheerios today?  This team has already won a conference championship and has one of the best pitchers in the country (even if she's off to a rough start today).  Sorry for the fact that I enjoy supporting one of our most consistently successful programs.

05/12/2018 - 12:05am Ok, well now it's actively

Ok, well now it's actively raining while we're pitching, and it's clearly messing with Beaubien's control.  You were right. :p

05/12/2018 - 12:01am There's a limit to how much

There's a limit to how much I'm willing to blame this thing on the rain.  MSU's been sitting around all day just like we have, both teams are playing under the circumstances.

05/12/2018 - 12:00am HBP gets Michigan our first

HBP gets Michigan our first base-runner, but another K ends the inning with the team still hitless.  Some of these swings have been brutal to look at.

0-2, T3.

05/11/2018 - 11:53pm Uden strikes swinging at a

Uden strikes swinging at a pitch way out of the zone.  These first couple innings are just not going our way.  Fortunately, there's a lot of game left to get it together.

05/11/2018 - 11:48pm High fly ball finally ends an

High fly ball finally ends an absolutely agonizing T2.  0-2, heading to the B2.  Gotta get the offense going.

05/11/2018 - 11:48pm Couple pitches that have been

Couple pitches that have been strikes all night suddenly turn into balls, and the bases are loaded again off a walk.  This inning is taking years off my lifespan...

05/11/2018 - 11:44pm Dribbling single up the

Dribbling single up the middle scores 2.  FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

05/11/2018 - 11:40pm Walk loads the bases.  C'mon,

Walk loads the bases.  C'mon, Meghan...

05/11/2018 - 11:38pm K and a ground-out put the

K and a ground-out put the runner on third, then a questionable HBP puts another on with 2 outs.  Not sure how you can have an HBP when the batter gets hit on the hands, actively leaning towards a ball over the plate, but that's why I'm not an ump I guess.

05/11/2018 - 11:34pm Yet another on the long list

Yet another on the long list of WTFs surrounding Big Ten softball & its scheduling.

05/11/2018 - 11:31pm Yikes, a double to lead-off

Yikes, a double to lead-off the 2nd for MSU.  Probably should've been a single, but Falk bobbled it in the outfield.  Need Beaubien to settle in here to her usual style.

05/11/2018 - 11:27pm Ground-out, ground-out,

Ground-out, ground-out, called strike 3 for Michigan.  0-0, going to the T2.

05/11/2018 - 11:21pm MSU gets a hit after two Ks

MSU gets a hit after two Ks to start the inning, but a meek ground-out ends it.  0-0, heading to the B1.

05/10/2018 - 2:07pm Interesting to go with "punt"

Interesting to go with "punt" on this one, especially given some of the truly horrific QB performances we've seen in Ann Arbor lately.  I will grant that there's a limit to what one can extrapolate from this tape, but this still looks to me like a major upgrade over basically everything we saw last year.

Maybe that's just me being a bit of a homer/optimist, but a QB who can keep his head above water like this, under very adverse circumstances, wins us the MSU, Wisconsin, OSU, and SC games last year.  Keeps PSU a bit more respectable, but not enough to flip that.  Still, looks pretty good to me.  Do want, happy we have.

05/09/2018 - 6:09pm As nervous as it makes me to

As nervous as it makes me to put that kind of expectation on a freshman, she has definitely be playing at a Romo-like level this year.  If she improves even incrementally (although at times it feels hard to see *how* she could improve!), she will be in the discussion with Romo & Jennie Ritter for best UM player of all time.

05/09/2018 - 5:36pm I still find that time Romo

I still find that time Romo didn't win POY kinda cheesy.  She finished in the top-3 for the NPOY award, and actually won a (less prestigious) NPOY award.  I'm convinced the voters just didn't want her to win it all 4 years, which is BS in my book.