The Wolverine

May 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Lethal Lineup The Wolverines Ride Hot Bats To A Strong Start T By Andy Reid he Wolverines opened their Big Ten season with a threegame home series against Purdue March 22-23. After two wins, Michigan fell behind the Boilermakers 7-4 in the third game of the series and, entering the bottom of the sixth inning, it looked like the potential sweep was all but lost. Then Purdue did a funny thing, choosing to intentionally walk a true freshman to start the inning. In theory, it was a good idea. The freshman, shortstop Sierra Romero, has proven herself a force at the plate. As of April 15, Romero ranked third nationally in home runs, bombing 17 of them in the Wolverines' first 42 games. Through 42 games, Romero was first on the team in hits (54), RBI (55) and slugging percentage (.893), in 131 at-bats. So Romero took her base against the Boilermakers. "Our lineup is the part of this team that I absolutely love," Romero said. "I love when they walk me, because then I'm on base and they have to pitch to someone behind me. And they're just as good. It's not like they're going to face someone weak. They're going to have to face a strong hitter, regardless." After an error sent junior first baseman Caitlin Blanchard to first base, senior second baseman Ashley Lane stepped to the plate and knocked one out of the park to tie the game 7-7. The Wolverines (35-7 overall, 12‑0 Big Ten) closed out an 8-7 win in the seventh inning. In Michigan's 11‑2 win over Michigan State April  14, the Spartans intentionally walked Romero three times before they were forced to pitch to her with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Romero made Michigan State pay with a grand slam. "Coaches in our conference are going to choose not to pitch to Sierra Romero," Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins said. "She is too dangerous. The philosophy, I have heard many coaches say, is, 'Don't let their best player beat you.' It's going to become a factor that we'll have to

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