#22 Michigan Softball 2019 Preview

Michigan Wolverines
Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
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Michigan went 18-3 in Big Ten play and won another outright Big Ten title, but the 2018 campaign was a bit of a disappointment. The Wolverines had to go to the Lexington Regional and they lost to Notre Dame twice with a win over Illinois-Chicago in-between. Michigan always expects to make a deep tournament run. This year they should again be right on the cusp of hosting a regional and that would be huge. But with a decent team up in Minneapolis, even winning a conference title may prove to be elusive.
2018: 44-13, 18-3
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Carol Hutchins
Key Departed Players:
Tera Blanco, 1B/P, .345 BA, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 1.98 ERA, 9-4 W/L, 92.0 IP, 86 SO
Aidan Falk, UTL, .309 BA, 7 HR, 32 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Faith Canfield, UTL, .391 BA, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 11 SB
Madison Uden, IF, .357 BA, 35 RBI
Katie Alexander, C, .314 BA, 5 HR, 24 RBI
Natalie Peters, OF, .312 BA, 23 RBI, 15 SB
Haley Hoogenraad, OF, .289 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI
Meghan Beaubien, P, 1.16 ERA, 33-6 W/L, 217.0 IP, 266 SO
The Wolverines boasted the third best ERA in the nation and that was almost entirely due to Meghan Beaubien. As a freshman she went 33-6 with a 1.16 ERA. In 217.0 innings of work, the lefty struck out 266 batters and allowed just seven homeruns. With the loss of Tera Blanco, Michigan will expect to get more innings out of fellow sophomore Sarah Schaefer. She recorded 62.1 innings pitched in 2018 with a 1.57 ERA. Michigan should again absolutely dominate in the circle. They also return five very good hitters. Faith Canfield hit .391 last season with seven homeruns and 38 RBIs. She should be in store for another All-American caliber campaign. Madison Uden, a junior third baseman, hit .357 with 35 RBIs. She has some power to her bat, belting three homeruns and 11 doubles last year, but Katie Alexander and Haley Hoogenraad are also back to provide some of the power. Senior Natalie Peters will consistently get on base and use her speed to do some damage once she gets there. Barring some sophomore slumps in the circle, this is a Michigan team that should be very dangerous come tournament time whether they get to host a regional or not.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament