#15 Michigan Softball 2018 Preview

Michigan Wolverines
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten
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For nine straight years Michigan won at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title. That ended last year when their 20-3 conference record was not enough to overcome Minnesota’s amazing season. In 2018, Coach Carol Hutchins will look to start another streak of conference titles. Megan Betsa will not be easy to replace though. She pitched 235.1 innings and struck out a nation high 412 batters. Senior Tera Blanco figures to step into the main pitching role after boasting a 2.30 ERA in 125.0 innings of work. Incoming freshmen Sarah Schaefer and Meghan Beaubien have the talent to push Blanco.
2017: 43-13-1, 20-3
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Carol Hutchins
Key Departed Players:
Kelly Christner, OF, .402 BA, 9 HR, 41 RBI
Abby Ramirez, IF, .355 BA, 0 HR, 20 RBI
Lindsay Montemarano, IF, .293 BA, 3 HR, 21 RBI
Megan Betsa, P, 1.40 ERA, 25-10 W-L, 235.1 IP, 412 SO
Key Returning Players:
Faith Canfield, UTL, .398 BA, 9 HR, 40 RBI
Natalie Peters, OF, .361 BA, 2 HR, 10 RBI
Aidan Falk, UTL, .347 BA, 7 HR, 48 RBI
Katie Alexander, C, .260 BA, 4 HR, 17 RBI
Tera Blanco, P/1B, 2.30 ERA, 18-3 W-L, 125.0 IP, 97 SO, .288 BA, 7 HR, 46 RBI
The pitching may take a step back without Betsa, but the offense that averaged over six runs per game last year could be just as productive. Faith Canfield and Aidan Falk can hit for both for power and average. Canfield batted .398 with nine homeruns and 41 RBIs as a sophomore, while Falk added seven homeruns and 48 RBIs during her junior campaign. Those two will drive in plenty of runs, while players like Natalie Peters will get on base and score plenty of runs. Michigan does have some holes to fill, but Coach Hutchins has also brought in a talented group of freshmen who will help fill the gaps. And that should lead to another Big Ten title and a potential deep tournament run.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament