The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 27 of 177

BY JOHN BORTON B loops, bunts and batters not budging when pitches clipped them — those killer Bs combined to block Carol Hutchins' softball team from a national championship this season. That's not her focus, looking back. It's not Florida's three-run first inning in the championship game, punctuated by seeing-eye hits. It's not the 4-1 loss that ensued, the Wolverines frustrated at every turn with stranded base-runners. No, Hutchins and her crew choose to focus on all they accomplished. Any team that goes 60-8, wins the Big Ten championship, advances through the anxiety-laced NCAA Regionals, Super Regionals and Women's College World Series, right to the brink of best-in-the-land status, has plenty to celebrate. It also earns the designation as The Wolverine Female Team of the Year. For Hutchins, the satisfaction transcends even tangible accomp- lishments. "Team is the word," Hutchins insisted. "They were really a great team. They played selflessly. Our pitching staff was selfless. They just played for each other, and when one got down, the other one picked them up. They rooted for each other." They certainly featured individual standouts. Sophomore pitcher Megan Betsa went 31-5 with a 1.72 earned- run average, and senior lefty Haylie Wagner — stepping to the fore in the World Series — went 25-3, with a 1.75 ERA. Seven hitters topped the .300 mark in batting average, paced by junior infielder Sierra Romero's eye-popping .449 with 22 home runs and 83 runs batted in. Despite the attention Romero received, Hutchins consistently stressed this wasn't a one-woman team, and the numbers bear that out. "Romo evolved into a great leader," Hutchins said. "All in all, the kids really played for each other as a team, and they played for Michigan. There is never a moment where it was about 'I.' It was always about 'we.'" Fight to the Finish Softball Battles To The NCAA Championship Final Game FEMALE TEAM OF THE YEAR SOFTBALL

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