photos from mgoblue.com
Whoa Nellie!!!!! Hutch and crew have done it again. The 7th ranked, and 5th seeded, Michigan Softball team has made it to their 5th Super Regional (in row!), hosting the Baylor Bears this weekend. You can watch the game on ESPN this Friday at 8pm, but I thought I'd give you a head's up about who and what to watch for. (besides Andy's imaginary GF at 3rd) Fun fact #1, Friday night's game will be Coach Carol Hutchins' 1500th game with The Maize and Blue. Yeah. ONE-THOUSAND-FIVE-HUNDRED. oh, and her teams have won over 1100 of 'em placing her winning percentage at 78.3. Yeah, she's BEAST. And a nice woman to boot.
This year's squad is 44-10 overall, 17-3 as the Big Ten Champs and poised for a run to Oklahoma City thanks to their big leaders on the mound and their big bats on deck. (you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? pigs...)
Nikki Nemitz, #44, the left handed Junior ranks 6th in the nation with an ERA of 0.89 and was this year's Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. Her sophmore relief and double-digit K Queen is #7 Jordan Taylor.
The freshman phenom wearing #5 is Bree Evans. This left fielder batted .500 in the Regionals at the #1 spot and leads the team with 16 stolen bases. Just call her "Nike" as she flashes by the bases. Shortstop Tedi Ewing provides senior leadership on this young team along with her classmate over at 2nd, Stephanie Kirkpatrick.
Other big bats include those wielded by Catcher Roya St. Clair who has 27 RBIs to her credit. Dorian Shaw, who is a fixture at 1st, can launch it too having smacked 11 homers in each of the last 2 years. She loves going long over the left field fence.
But you have to watch all of the women on this team, as Maggie Viefhaus (who's house??? Viefhaus!!!) Andy's vision at 3rd isn't an All-Big 10'er just cuz she's pretty. (even though Andy voted like 500 times...) Adding to the firepower, right fielder Angela Findlay has a .403 batting average over the past 25 games.
You can consider this series with the Baylor Bears a bit of a grudge match. They lead historically 5-3 overall, and ousted us in the 2007 Super Regional for their bid in the 2007 College World Series. Payback time, ladies. Payback!
The Lady Bears are 40-20 this season (11-7 in the Big 12). Maybe one day Andy can do a Know Your Foe about this team from WACO, Texas---but until then, here's what you need to know.
Kayce Walker is their big swinger with a .413 batting average. The freshman from Franklin, Texas plays in the outfield. Power hitters for Baylor include senior third baseman Brette Regan, with 9 over the fence and 30 ducks brought home, and freshman shortstop Bree Hanafin has 7 homers and 31 RBIs. Their best pitcher is a leftie freshman,Whitney Canion posting a 27-16 record, with 414 Ks and a 1.78 ERA.
NO JINX NO JINX, but the Wolverines are undefeated this year at the Wilpon Softball Complex NO JINX NO JINX, so I have high hopes for this series. I'll be in attendance Friday night so I'll be sure to wave. I'll be the hottie with the baseball cap and the sunglasses.
If Michigan wins this series it will be their 9th trip to the dance. Games 2 and 3 on Saturday and Sunday will also be televised on ESPN at 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm (if needed).