#15 Michigan Softball Preview

Michigan Wolverines

Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten
Michigan College Softball Top 44 Team Preview
Michigan Team Page


The Michigan Wolverines enter 2013 with the steady hand of Hall Of Fame Head Coach Carol Hutchins at the helm for her 29th season.  Hutchins has led her squad to 15 Big Ten Championships, five consecutive, 20 trips to the NCAA Tournament and an impressive nine visits to the WCWS.  In 2012, the Wolverines reached the Super-Regionals with two wins over Louisville, eventually losing to the National Champs in Tuscaloosa.  Coach Hutchins brings back 15 letter winners, including her two best pitchers.  As usual, Michigan will spend the first part of the campaign on the road, opening at home on March 22.  The 2013 season also marks the return of the Big Ten post season tournament.  It has not been played since 2008.

2012: 42-17, 18-5
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Carol Hutchins, 29th Season

Field Players:
Second baseman Ashley Lane provided much of the power in 2012, smashing 11 home runs, knocking in 40 runs.  The senior hit .269.  Outfielder Lyndsay Doyle finished with a .295 batting average.  The junior walked 25 times.  Seniors Amy Knapp and Jaclyn Crummey and junior Nicole Sappingfield will captain the Wolverine squad in 2013.  Knapp anchors the defense at shortstop.  Crummey, a sparingly used outfielder, led her team in stolen bases (8) in 2012.  Sappingfield started all 58 games last season.  The outfielder hit .317 and scored 29 times.

A pair of decorated sophomore pitchers will lead Michigan into 2013.  Big Ten Pitcher and Freshman of the Year Haylie Wagner was ninth nationally, collecting 32 wins.  She made 50 appearances, a new school record and posted a 1.53 ERA.  The left hander hurled seven complete game shutouts.  She struck out 159 over her 252 innings of work.  Sara Driesenga won nine games, finishing with a 2.53 ERA.  She was 1st Team All-Big Ten.  The 6’1” righty also contributed at the plate.  Driesenga hit in 37 games, managing a .340 average, second on the team.  She blasted six bombs and knocked in 21.

Who to Watch:
Freshman middle infielder Sierra Romero hails from Southern California where she collected a myriad of awards.  In 2012 the right hand hitter was a Max Preps, ESPN and NFCA All-American.  Romero set local homerun records and could add a little pop to the Wolverine lineup.  Freshman Sierra Lawrence is another tremendous athlete added to the Michigan squad this season.  The Georgia native is versatile defensively, able to play infield and outfield.  An All-State selectee, she was the 2012 Georgia AA Player of the Year.

Final Projection:
Though the Wolverines lost some significant offense in Amanda Chidester and Bree Evans, they bring back a solid pitching duo in Wagner and Driesenga.  The new faces could add some speed and power to the lineup that will face the typical tough schedule that Hutchins signs up for.  Included in what is surely one of the toughest non-conference slates are USF, DePaul, Louisiana, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, LSU, Oregon, Louisville, Washington, Arizona State and Arizona.  Hutchins’ club will be the class of the conference again in 2013 and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Nicole Sappingfield, OF, 183
Hits: Nicole Sappingfield, OF, 58
Home Runs: Ashley Lane, 2B, 11
RBIs: Ashley Lane, 2B, 40
Runs: Lyndsay Doyle, OF, 33
Stolen Bases: Jaclyn Crummey, OF, 8

Wins: Haylie Wagner, P, 32
Innings Pitched: Haylie Wagner, P, 252
Strikeouts: Haylie Wagner, P, 159
Saves: Sara Driesenga, P, 3

Madness 2013 NPF Draft Rankings:
#24 Ashley Lane

Madness 2013 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#9 Sierra Romero
#69 Sierra Lawrence


See All Softball Top 44 Team Previews