Wolverines Host NCAA Softball Regional at Alumni Field this weekend

 

Michigan will host an NCAA Regional for the 21st time in program history – and first time since 2016 – this weekend at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field; U-M opens play with a 4:30 p.m. slate against St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday (May 17).

THIS WEEKEND
Fri-Sun., May 17-19 — host NCAA Regional (Wilpon Complex)
Tournament Central | NCAA Bracket
Friday, May 17 — vs. St. Francis, 4:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNU | Tickets | Live Stats | Live Video | WLBY Audio
Saturday, May 18 — vs. DePaul or James Madison, noon or 2:30 p.m.
Tickets | Live Video | WLBY Audio

The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan softball team (43-11) will kick off NCAA Tournament play this weekend (Fri-Sun., May 17-19) at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. The Wolverines will host an NCAA Regional for the 21st time in program history — and first time since 2016 — and welcome St. Francis (Pa.), James Madison and DePaul to Alumni Field.

• Michigan is making its 27th NCAA Tournament appearance (1992-93, ’95-2019) and has earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament every season since 1995. The Wolverines play host to a regional for the 21st time but just the fourth time since 2011. The Wolverines are 82-17 all-time in the NCAA Regional round and have won 18 regional titles.

• The winner of the regional in Ann Arbor will move on to a Super Regional against the winner of the regional being hosted by UCLA in Los Angeles, California. That regional consists of No. 2 overall seed UCLA, Missouri, Cal State Fullerton and Weber State.

• Michigan captured the Big Ten Tournament title last Saturday (May 11) with a 3-2 decision in the championship game against No. 12-ranked Minnesota. It is Michigan’s first Big Ten Tournament title since similarly sweeping the conference crowns in 2015. U-M also achieved the feat in 1995, ’96, ’99, 2002 and 2005.

• U-M also captured the outright Big Ten regular-season title with weekend sweep at Maryland in the final weekend of the regular season (May 3-5). Michigan has captured 21 of the last 28 Big Ten regular-season crowns, including 11 of the last 12. The Wolverines posted a 22-1 league record this season, finishing one game ahead of second-place Northwestern. Michigan outscored its Big Ten opponents, 184-51.

• Sophomore left-handed pitcher Meghan Beaubien was named the Big Ten Tournament MVP after posting a 3-0 record with a 1.34 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 15.2 innings pitched. She held Minnesota scoreless through five innings in the championship game. In all, she allowed two runs on eight hits — three after a rain delay — with four strikeouts.

• Michigan posted a .345 team batting average over the Big Ten Tournament, including a weekend-high 15 hits in its semifinal against Wisconsin. Four Wolverine players hit .400 or better, most notably senior second baseman Faith Canfield, who batted .583 (7-for-12) with a four-hit effort against Wisconsin, while senior center fielder Natalie Peters and senior catcher Katie Alexander both batted .500 with five hits and three hits, respectively.

• The Wolverines are 15-0 at home this season, highlighted by series sweeps against Kent State, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State, and have outscored their home opposition by a combined 139-24 margin. U-M boasts a stellar 577-136-1 home record at Alumni Field since its 1982 construction.

• Michigan boasts four walk-off wins this season and another four-run seventh-inning rally in a 9-8 road win at Illinois (April 20). Among its walk-offs, two ended with home runs, most recently freshman left fielder Lexie Blair‘s eighth-inning leadoff shot to edge the Fighting Illini, 1-0, in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals last Friday (May 10). Junior third baseman Madison Uden also led off with a solo homer in the seventh against Penn State (April 26) and, perhaps most dramatically, U-M scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to secure a 7-6 win in the Indiana series finale (April 7).

• Blair, a top-10 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year, leads Michigan — and ranks third in the Big Ten — with a .424 batting average and owns team bests with 75 hits, 21 doubles and 53 RBI. Three Wolverine freshmen have led the team in hitting since 1995 — Sara Griffin (.432, 1995), Amanda Chidester (.350, 2009) and Sierra Romero (.379, 2013).

• The Wolverines have claimed 31 of their last 32 games since returning home from spring break and kicking off the home portion of their schedule against Kent State on March 14. Michigan was 12-10 entering that home weekend and after posting a 6-8 record over its first three weekends. U-M is hitting .364 over the last 32 games — a 110-point improvement over its .254 average over the season’s first 22 games.

• Michigan’s seniors have had a major contribution to the second-half turnaround and own five of the top six spots among the team’s hitting leaders over the stretch, with Canfield, Peters, first baseman Alex Sobczak, Alexander and designated player Mackenzie Nemitz all hitting .300 or better over the last 32 games. The class has combined for 133 runs and 134 RBI over the stretch.

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