Recap courtesy of MGoBlue.com
The No. 3-ranked University of Michigan softball team (51-6) will kick off the NCAA Tournament at home this weekend (Fri-Sun., May 15-17), hosting California, Pittsburgh and Oakland in one of 16 NCAA Regional sites. With the tournament's No. 3 seed, the Wolverines will open play Friday (May 15) against Oakland (27-22) at 6 p.m. at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field
• Michigan is appearing in its 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament (1995-2015) and its 23rd overall (1992-93, '95-2015). The Wolverines own a 73-13 all-time record in NCAA Regional play. U-M has hosted a regional in 12 of the last 14 years.
• U-M swept the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles for the sixth time in program history -- and first time since 2005 -- with its 6-1 decision over Nebraska in the tournament finale. Michigan captured its eighth straight regular-season crown with a 21-2 league record. Twelve of U-M's B1G wins came via run rule.
• Michigan leads the nation with a program-record 107, bettering the 103 registered by the 2005 NCAA championship team. U-M broke the record in 17 fewer games. Twelve different Wolverines have tallied at least one home run, while five boast multiple homers. U-M has recorded multiple home runs in 21 of its last 33 games.
• The Wolverines also boast a new program record with 470 runs scored this season. The previous record was 425 runs, which U-M established through 64 games in 2013. Michigan surpassed 400 runs in just four previous seasons -- 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2014.
• Junior Sierra Romero was named the inaugural winner of the espnW Softball Player of the Year and earned Big Ten Tournament MVP honors after hitting .556 with three homers and 11 runs batted in at the tournament. Romero just one shy of U-M's career home run record (62) and two shy of the program career RBI record (219). Both records are held by Samantha Findlay (2005-08).
• Romero knocked out her 10th career grand slam to establish a new NCAA record in the category. Romero previously shared the record (9) with Florida's Francesca Enea (2007-10) and Louisiana Lafayette's Christi Orgeron (2009-12). Enea needed 249 games to get to that mark, while Orgeron needed 237. Romero knocked out her 10th in just her 181th career game.
• Senior Lauren Sweet boasts a career-high 47 RBI this season; her previous best was 35, which she recorded through 57 games last year. She also boasts a career-best 11 home runs and .323 average on the year -- a 36-point improvement over her previous best.
• Junior Sierra Lawrence has already registered career highs in doubles (15) and home runs (13) this season. She also boasts a career-best .369 average on the year -- an 18-point improvement over her previous best.
• Freshman Aidan Falk led the Wolverines with a .667 average (6-for-9) with three RBI at the Big Ten Tournament. She matched her career best with three hits in the opener against Penn State. Falk is hitting .400 over the last 10 games.
• Sophomore Kelly Christner is hitting .556 at home this season with seven home runs and 24 RBI.
• Michigan owns the second-best team ERA in the nation (1.48) and boasts a 0.90 ERA over its last 20 games.
• Sophomore RHP Megan Betsa has allowed just four hits over her last five games, featuring a seven-inning no-hitter at Maryland and one-hit games in subsequent games against Penn State and Northwestern. She has also given up only nine runs over her last 69 innings pitched.
• Betsa boasts 11 double-digit strikeout games this season, including five of her last nine. She struck out 15 over eight innings at the Big Ten Tournament. She owns a career-best 275 strikeouts this season -- 125 more than her 2014 total (150).
• Senior LHP Haylie Wagner collected her 96th career win in the Big Ten Tournament finale vs. Nebraska. She owns the fourth spot among U-M's all-time leaders and is two wins shy of the third spot, currently held by Jennie Ritter (98, 2003-06). With wins in her last 11 starts -- plus a win in relief vs. MSU -- Wagner also moved to second all-time with a career .850 winning percentage. Jordan Taylor (2008-11) owns the Michigan program record with a .856 winning percentage.
• Wagner has allowed just four runs over her last 34 innings.