Michigan softball seeks redemption in NCAAs
The biggest test for the Michigan softball team now is how the Wolverines rebound from their upset-loss to Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins said she will rely on her senior class to help lead the Wolverines into the 64-team NCAA Tournament that will begin for them on Friday when they face Fresno State in the Seattle regional (ESPN2, 9 p.m.)
The Wolverines are 41-11-1, while Fresno State is 34-21. Washington, the No. 6 seed, is the host and will face Montana.
Michigan, which has made 12 World Series appearances, including the last two years, was the Big Ten tournament host and No. 2 seed.
The Wolverines lost to the seventh-seeded Spartans in the quarterfinals last Friday, snapping the Wolverines’ 36-game home winning streak. Michigan had won nine straight Big Ten Championships and 19 of the last 25 since 1992.
Minnesota was the outright Big Ten regular-season champion and also the tournament winner and surprisingly did not earn a top seed and will not host a regional.
Hutchins planned to have the team practice Sunday.
“By Sunday we’re going to have to move on, because we still have a season in front of us,” Hutchins said last Friday. “We’re going to have to recover from this and we really have to stay together. It’s a key time for our senior class to guide us.”
Senior Lindsay Montemarano said after the loss she was certain the Wolverines would rebound.
“I’m extremely confident we can hold it together,” she said. “At the end of the day it’s an extremely tough loss. We set high expectations for ourselves, but at the end of the day we know we have more pitches left.”
Seattle regional schedule
Michigan vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Washington vs. Montana, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 10 p.m.
Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, 9:30 p.m.