The Wolverine

August 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 33 of 152

BY JOHN BORTON T he line stretched beyond sight at The M-Den on Cam- pus, off State Street in Ann Arbor. Sierra Romero was back in town, and everyone from lit- tle kids to their grandparents wanted an autograph, a picture or a brief conversation with the softball star. Romero sat back, smiled and en- gaged everyone with a Person of the Year approach coupled with National Player of the Year status. The All- American star of Carol Hutchins' 2016 Big Ten, NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional champions understood this meant something. "I pinch myself sometimes," Romero offered, hours before taking to Alumni Field with her new pro team, the USSSA Florida Pride. "I was doing the signing event, and I didn't know how many people were going to show up. I came down, and the line was wrapped around the stairs. They said people got here in the morning to make sure they got wristbands so they could get an au- tograph. "It was really cool. There are older people coming up to me, even little boys who are softball fans. I think that's awesome. It's awesome that our sport has reached all the way to baseball players. I love that they're into softball as much as I am." Those around Michigan have been into softball for a long while, largely because of the dynasty Hutchins built. Romero did her part in en- hancing those winning ways, earning first-team All-America honors her final three seasons as a Wolverine. She's Michigan's Female Athlete of the Year as selected by The Wolverine, though it's hardly a breakthrough honor. Romero is also the National Player of the Year according to USA Softball and Schutt Sports/NFCA. Romero's numbers remained as- tounding throughout a senior season that bolstered Michigan's march to the Women's College World Series. She hit .451, scored 76 runs, belted 19 TOP OF HER GAME Sierra Romero Is Michigan's (And The Nation's) Best FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR SIERRA ROMERO

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