The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 39 years, applying hard lessons learned even in an All-America freshman campaign. "I learned the attitude to take to the mound at this level, the confidence that I'm good enough to beat any hit- ter in this game," she said. "It's more important than for my curveball to be 100 percent that day. "Having that confidence will make me better. It's contagious, so it will make the team around me better, too. "You can respond different ways to ending your season like that. You can let it defeat you and go into next year, or you can learn from it and make yourself better. Next year, we're definitely going to learn from that experience." Beaubien loved everything about the culture and tradition of Michigan softball in her formative years. She knew early on she wanted to be a Wolverine. Her parents knew they didn't want her features rearranged by a stray line drive, so they insisted upon the facemask Beaubien still dons today when she heads to the pitching circle. "I didn't want to, but I did," she recalled. "That was my rule through middle school and high school." When she attended Michigan's softball camp, she cast aside the mask, out of embarrassment and trepidation about how Hutchins might react to it. The iconic U-M head coach quickly put an end to those worries. "She was like, 'Meghan, why aren't you wearing your mask?'" Beaubien recalled. "I didn't know what to say to that. She said, 'I don't care if you wear it. I just care how you pitch.' "I don't think I ever intended to wear it in college, but growing up with it, I just got so used to it that I would feel uncomfortable pitching without it. With how hitters and bats are nowadays, I think I should be wearing it, just for safety." She's looking to give opposing hit- ters no safe place next season — a campaign she's already imagining. "I'm always thinking about soft- ball, and I'm already thinking about next year," Beaubien said. "I'm on mandatory rest right now, so I don't get to work on it. But it's always in my head." ❏ Beaubien is just the second Wolverine freshman ever to be named a first-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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