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Softball: Early Season Prospectus

The Michigan softball team has raged out to a 17-2 start to begin the 2008 campaign. A Kickoff Classic loss to Maryland and an upset by Drake in the UCF tournament, both by scores of 0-2, account for the lone Wolverine losses so far this season. 10th-ranked Michigan is once again expected to achieve success in the Big Ten as well, projected to finish in the top two, along with the Wildcats of Northwestern.

So what has been the key to Michigan's success this early in the season? "We have very strong pitching," said head coach Carol Hutchins, "We have 2 great pitchers that are a true 1-2 punch." Those two pitchers, Sophomore Nikki Nemitz and Freshman Jordan Taylor, have indeed excelled this early in the season. Combined, they sport a .57 Earned Run Average, and each only losing one game in which she has appeared.

The offense is not lacking, either. Samantha Findlay, known best for her 3-run game winning homer in the 2004 college World Series as a Freshman, has developed into one of Michigan's most prolific hitters, and looks forward to her final season being the best. Findlay's 6 home runs on the season has been enough to give her sole possession of #1 on Michigan's all-time
chart, with a career total of 47.

Despite all of Michigan's early-season successes, home fans have been unable to see the team in action this season. That will all change on April 5-7, as Michigan will host conference foes Iowa and Illinois. The Friday contest, one of two against Iowa, will also mark the unveiling of the $5.5 million renovation to Alumni Field. "We went from the 5th or 6th best facilities in the conference, to one of the best in the nation," boasted Hutchins. Students are encouraged to support their classmates, as it will be student weekend at the Wilpon complex.

In the meantime, the Wolverines will travel to tournaments in Louisville, Kentucky and Fullerton, California for a pair of tournaments, prior to kicking of the Big Ten schedule in Bloomington, Indiana.

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“Softball: Early Season Prospectus”