History of Michigan Women's Intercollegiate Athletics

Michigan women's intercollegiate athletics have come a long way since the University's founding in 1817. Basketball and tennis were the first sports for women organized at the U; today, there are almost 300 student-athletes competing in 14 sports (basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo). The achievements of these early pioneers helped set the tone for today's modern athlete to compete for the Maize and Blue.

The field hockey team claimed the first women's NCAA team title in school history in 2001, defeating Maryland in the NCAA championship game in Kent, Ohio. In 2005, softball became the second women's team sport to claim the national title by beating two-time defending champion UCLA in the title game. With the win over UCLA, U-M softball became the first school east of the Mississippi to win the Women's College World Series.

For additional information on the history of women's athletics at Michigan, visit A Sporting Chance: Women's Athletics at the University of Michigan (from the Bentley Historical Library).

Softball - 2005 National Champions