Wolverines to host Toledo, Oakland in midweek matches
// Lea Howard
tuesday march 15 — vs Toledo (Wilpon Complex), 5 p.m.
Television: B1G+ | Live Video | Live Statistics | Free entrance
Wednesday March 16 — vs. Oakland (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.
Television: B1G+ | Live Video | Live Statistics | Tickets
The 19th-ranked University of Michigan softball team (15-6) will return to competition with two midweek games after an unexpected weekend due to inclement weather. The Wolverines host Toledo (7-12) at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 before wrapping up the week’s action on Wednesday, March 16 against Oakland (7-6) at 4 p.m. Both games will be played at Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field, and broadcast live on B1G+.
• Michigan opened its home game with a doubles sweep over Kent State, 11-1 in five innings and 4-3, last Thursday (March 10). Michigan has a stellar home record of 593-139-1 at Alumni Field since it was built in 1982. Last season, UM went 12-1 at Alumni Field.
• Michigan hit three homers in the KSU doubleheader after hitting 11 during its 10-game spring break stint. Second year Keke TholThe three-run homer capped a seven-run fourth inning that helped secure the Wolverines’ first home win. Nine different Wolverines have at least one home run this season; Thol, senior Hannah Carsonsecond Sierra Kersten and junior Lauren Esman all share the team lead in circuits with three each.
• Graduate student outfielder Kristina Burkhardt continues to lead the Wolverines at the plate, batting .479 (33 for 69) with 13 doubles and 19 RBIs. Adding two triples, almost half of his hits went for extra bases. She has recorded at least one hit in all but two games this season and currently boasts a 10-game hitting streak.
• Senior outfielder Lexie Blair recorded a season-high three hits in Game 1 for KSU last Thursday and eliminated his first home game of the season with a two-run shot in the second inning. Blair, who had just four hits in the first seven games of the season, is now averaging .317 at bat this season.
• Main RHP Alex Storako earned both wins in KSU’s doubleheader, allowing one run on two hits and two walks with 13 strikeouts over six total innings pitched. She won in relief in the last drink, entering with the score tied and no out in the sixth and recording three quick outs.
• Storako leads the conference and ranks third nationally with 12 wins so far in the season and ranks second with 122 strikeouts and seventh with an average of 12.0 strikeouts per seven innings. She has seven double-digit at-bats, including 18 in her season debut against Illinois State — the third-most single-game Ks of her career. Storako also led the nation last season with an average of 12.9 strikeouts, while the Michigan staff posted the best team mark in the nation with an average of 10.76 strikeouts.
• LHP graduate student Megane Beaubien won a complete shutout against North Carolina (March 1), earning one strikeout while allowing just two hits and one walk over five innings. Beaubien improved to 88-25 during her career at Michigan, earning a share of seventh place among UM’s all-time wins leaders — tied with Marissa Young (2000-03). She is four wins behind sixth place, currently held by Nikki Nemitz (92, 2007-10). Beaubien also ranks 10th with 29 career shutouts.
• The head coach Carole Hutchins reclaimed the top spot among NCAA softball’s winningest coaches with the Wolverines’ 3-0 win over Northern Kentucky (Feb. 25) and now boasts a career-best 1,684-539-5 over the course of his 39 seasons as head coach. Hutchins, who previously reached the top spot in 2016 after surpassing Margie Wright’s record of 1,457 career wins, entered the weekend tied with Arizona great Mike Candrea (1,674-436- 2), Hall-of-Famer and eight-time NCAA champion. who retired from coaching last spring.
The Wolverines won a doubles sweep in their home opener, beating Kent State 11-1 in five innings, 4-3 last Thursday (March 10) at Alumni Field. Storako struck out 13 in Game 1 — his seventh double-digit out game this season and third in a row — while allowing one run on two hits, including a solo homer in the fourth inning and two walks. UM won on a walk-off in Game 2 at freshman shortstop Ella McVey delivered the game-winning shot with a two-out RBI single to the right side to tag the junior outfielder Audrey LeClair of the second goal. [ Recaps: Game 1 | Game 2 ]
tuesday march 22 — vs. West Michigan (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.
Wednesday March 23 — vs. Miami, Ohio (Wilpon Complex), 4 p.m.
Friday March 25 — vs. Nebraska (Wilpon Complex), 6:30 p.m.
Saturday March 26 — vs. Nebraska (Wilpon Complex), 2 p.m.
Sunday March 27 — vs. Nebraska (Wilpon Complex), noon