Jan. 29, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The University of Michigan softball team was voted the No. 13 team in the country, according to the new ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll released today (Tuesday, Jan. 29).
The Wolverines are the only Big Ten team to crack the top 25. That places Michigan in the top 15 in two preseason polls, following its No. 15 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll, which was released last week.
Michigan enters 2013 play as the five-time defending Big Ten champions. Last season, the Wolverines finished No. 15 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball poll with a 42-17 record.
Michigan returns 14 letterwinners and welcomes in seven newcomers. Leading the way in 2013 will be sophomore pitchers Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) and Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville), who each earned All-Big Ten first team honors in their freshman campaigns, along with senior infielders Amy Knapp (St. Joseph, Mich./Lakeshore) and Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido), who earned NFCA All-America honors in 2011
Carol Hutchins begins her 29th year at the helm of the Wolverines. She is fourth on the all-time wins list for NCAA softball coaches and is the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Michigan has nine games scheduled against preseason top 25 teams: Arizona State (No. 4), Oregon (No. 6), South Florida (No. 10), Louisiana-Lafayette (No. 11), LSU (No. 12), Arizona (No. 14), Washington (No. 16), Texas A&M (No. 17) and Louisville (No. 18).
The Maize and Blue begin the season against Marshall, Florida Atlantic, No. 12 USF and Samford at the University of South Florida Tournament Feb. 8-10 in Tampa, Fla.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423