Sept. 10, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan softball team announced its fall ball schedule today (Tuesday, Sept. 10) featuring a five-game tilt in Traverse City and two exhibitions at nearby Eastern Michigan University. The Wolverines will play all of their fall contests on the road due to the renovations at the Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center and the installation of synthetic turf at Alumni Field.
Head coach Carol Hutchins will once again take her squad north to take part in the Traverse City Collegiate Softball Tournament held at Traverse City West high school on Sep. 28-29. The Maize and Blue will play a trio of five inning contests on Sep. 28 beginning with Central Michigan at 10:30 a.m., followed by Western Michigan at noon and then Oakland at 2 p.m. The tournament concludes the following day with a pair of seven inning games.
Michigan will make the short trip to Eastern Michigan twice this fall, taking on the Eagles on Thursday, Oct.3, and again on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The two matchups will feature a familiar face on the Eastern bench. Former U-M All-American Melissa Gentile took over the Eagles' program this summer.
The Shepherd Softball Center is being completely rebuilt this offseason, with a three-story, 10,200-square-foot structure taking the place of the previous one-story building. The space will contain two new team meeting areas, enhanced training capabilities including hydrotherapy, improved locker room space and an instillation of coaches' offices. A roof terrace will provide unparalleled views of Alumni Field and the entire Wilpon Complex.
Alumni Field is receiving several upgrades as well. A new state-of-the art video scoreboard is going up in left field. The outfield grass will be replaced with synthetic turf which will provide the team with a more consistent field and better drainage. This upgrade will allow Michigan to use the field earlier in its competitive season.
The Wolverines are coming off their 10th appearance in the Women's College World Series and a Big Ten record sixth consecutive conference crown. Seventeen players return from last season including Big Ten Player of the Year and All-American sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) along with first team All-Big Ten selections senior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summerville), junior Sara Driesenga (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville), junior Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Norcross, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian).
The fall schedule will also give fans their first opportunities to see U-M's four freshmen: Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove), Kelly Christner (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J. Andrew), Lindsey Montemarano (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) and Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity).
2013 Michigan Softball Fall Schedule
|Traverse City Tourney|
|Saturday, Sept. 28||Central Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||W, 9-0|
|Western Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||W, 6-0|
|Oakland||Traverse City, Mich.||W, 5-2|
|Sunday, Sept. 29||Western Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||W, 5-1|
|Central Michigan||Traverse City, Mich.||W, 4-1|
|Thursday, Oct. 3||Eastern Michigan||Ypsilanti, Mich.||4 p.m.|
|Tuesday, Oct. 8||Eastern Michigan||Ypsilanti, Mich.||4 p.m.|
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Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423.