Recap courtesy of MGoBlue.com
The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan softball team (25-4) kick off Big Ten Conference play with a three-game series at Ohio State (13-7) this weekend. The Wolverines will play OSU at 6 p.m. on Friday (March 20), 2 p.m. on Saturday (March 21) and 1 p.m. on Sunday (March 22) at Buckeye Field in Columbus.
• The Wolverines are looking for their 18th Big Ten title in program history. U-M has won 17 of the last 20 Big Ten championships, including at least a share of last seven crowns. No other team has a stretch of more than two in a row (Northwestern, 1984-85).
• Head coach Carol Hutchins is just three wins shy of her 1,400 career win. She has compiled 1,397-467-4 career record in 32 seasons as a NCAA head coach. Hutchins is the third-winningest coach in NCAA softball history, trailing Margie Wright (1,457) and Arizona's Mike Candrea (1,410).
• Michigan has hit 44 home runs over the last 20 games, totaling 50 on the season. Ten different Wolverines have tallied at least one homer.
• With 11 homers on the season, junior Sierra Romero upped her career home run tally to 52 to move to third among U-M's all-time leaders in the category. She is six homers shy of the second spot, currently held by Dorian Shaw (58, 2008-11). Romero also moved to fifth among U-M's career RBI leaders with 177. She needs just one more to reach the fourth spot, also currently held by Shaw (178).
• The top of U-M's order (Lawrence, sophomore Kelly Christner and Romero) went 8-for-9 against Bowling Green with three RBI. Lawrence and Christner matched career highs with three hits apiece.
• Christner has tallied five hits over the last two games. Christner, Lawrence and Romero lead the Wolverine team with 12 multi-hit games this year.
• Junior Kelsey Susalla already owns career highs in nearly every category, including hits (30), doubles (9), triples (2), home runs (6), RBI (30) and runs (15).
• Michigan has posted double-digit hits in 12 games this season, including 11 of the last 19 games.
• U-M's pitching staff combined for a 1.84 earned-run average in the Kent State series, totaling 20 strikeouts and just five earned runs and 14 hits allowed over three games.
• Sophomore RHP Megan Betsa earned both weekend wins against Kent State, posting a 1.17 ERA, 15 strikeouts and nine hits allowed through 12 innings. She struck out 10 in the series finale. It was her third double-digit strikeout game this season -- eighth in her career -- and first since fanning 11 against Georgia Tech on Feb. 13.
• Senior LHP Haylie Wagner upped her career win total to 85 with her decision against Bowling Green. She ranks sixth among U-M's all-time leaders in the category and needs three more wins to reach the fifth position, currently held by Marissa Young (88, 2000-03).