May 7, 2013
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- A pair of players from the No. 6-ranked University of Michigan softball team, junior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield) and freshman Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta), were honored by the Big Ten Conference today (Tuesday, May 7) as the Player of the Week and the Freshman of the Week, respectively.
Blanchard wins her first Big Ten weekly award of the season and of her career. The junior batted .625 (5-for-8) and knocked in eight runs while helping U-M to a three-game sweep of Northwestern. She also slugged 1.250 on the strength of two doubles and a home run.
In game three, Blanchard's two-run homer in the third inning provided the game-winning runs and wiped out the only lead NU held during the series. That home run was part of a 2-for-2 day with four runs batted in.
Romero claims her seventh Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor, and the ninth weekly award of her young career (two Player of the Week citations). Despite facing a Northwestern team that tried to pitch around her, Romero still collected two hits and three RBI in three official at-bats. She also reached base 10 times consecutively in the series, scoring seven runs.
The shortstop blasted her record-setting 22nd home run of the season in game two, establishing a new single-season mark for a U-M player. Romero accumulated a .909 on-base percentage on the two hits, five walks and three hit-by-pitches in the series.
Blanchard and Romero are in a three-way tie for most hits on the squad (62) with senior Ashley Lane (Escondido, Calif./Escondido). Blanchard finished the regular season with a team-best .400 batting average and 11 doubles all while adjusting to a new position, first base. Romero leads the team in home runs, RBI (66), slugging (.897), total bases (140) and on-base percentage (.534).
The Wolverines will open play as the No. 1 seed on Friday (May 10) against either Ohio State or Iowa in Lincoln, Neb. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT.
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423