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Michigan Wolverines softball
Michigan Wolverines softball athletic logo

University University of Michigan
Conference Big Ten
Location Ann Arbor, MI
Head Coach Carol Hutchins (26th year)
Home Stadium Alumni Field
(Capacity: 2,800[1])
Nickname Wolverines
Colors Blue and Maize

             

National Championships
2005
WCWS Appearances
2004, 2005, 2009
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1982, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
Conference Champions
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

The Michigan Wolverines softball team represents the University of Michigan in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I competition. College softball became a varsity sport at the University of Michigan in 1978. Carol Hutchins has been the head coach since 1985. In 2005, Hutchins' team became the first softball team from east of the Mississippi River to win the Women's College World Series.

Contents

History

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Soluk era

Gloria Soluk was the first head coach of the Michigan Wolverines softball team. She served as the head coach for three years from 1978 to 1980. In her three seasons as head coach, the Wolverines compiled a record of 50 wins and 25 losses for a .667 winning percentage.

DeCarolis era

Bob DeCarolis was the Wolverines second head coach, holding that position from 1978 to 1984. In hs seven seasons as head coach, the Wolverines compiled a record of 114 wins and 81 losses for a .585 winning percentage. In 1982, DeCarolis led Michigan to a first place finish in the NCAA Regional Championships and a 3rd place finish in the NCAA Championship.

Hutchins era

Carol Hutchins became the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines softball team in 1985. When she took over as head coach, Hutchins reportedly "had a tiny salary, an only slightly larger budget, and had to take care of her own field, throwing down lime and riding the lawn tractor."[2] Since Hutchins became Michigan's coach, the team has never had a losing season.[3] Hutchins' teams have also won 11 Big Ten Conference regular-season titles and 14 NCAA regional championships. She has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year on ten occasions and National Fastpitch Coaches Association ("NFCA") National Coach of the Year twice.[4]

She led the Michigan softball team to its first NCAA Women's College World Series championship in 2005.[4][5] The decisive game was won in dramatic fashion, with a Samantha Findlay walk off home run in the 10th inning producing a 4-1 final. The 2005 Michigan team was the first team from East of the Mississippi River to win the Women's College World Series.[5][6][7] The Ann Arbor News described the team's accomplishment this way:

"What happened during the past five months might be the most unlikely accomplishment in the history of a storied athletics program, analogous to setting out to win an NCAA hockey title at the University of New Mexico. Then doing it. Now, before you dismiss that as hyperbole, consider a few factors. Like the fact that, because of cold weather, the Wolverines played their first 33 games on the road, roughly half the season. Try doing that in football or basketball. Then there's recruiting. Softball is still a sport dominated by West Coast talent. ... There's a reason no team East of the Mississippi had won an NCAA softball title until now."[5]

After Michigan beat No. 1 ranked Arizona in March 2005, Hutchins told a reporter, "Yes, there is softball east of the Rockies."[8] The performance of the 2005 team also set Michigan records in several categories:

  • The team's 65 victories was the most in school history;[3]
  • The team recorded 32 consecutive victories between February 13, 2005, and March 30, 2005;[3] and
  • The team's 103 home runs tied for the second most in NCAA history.[3]

After winning the World Series, Hutchins and her team visited the White House in July 2005, where they met with President George W. Bush, something Hutchins called "a once-in-a-lifetime experience."[7]

In 2006, Hutchins was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame.[9]

In March 2000, Hutchins recorded her 638th win, giving her more career wins than any other coach in University of Michigan history in any sport, male of female.[3] In 2007, she became the seventh coach in NCAA softball history, and the first in any sport at the University of Michigan, to reach 1,000 career wins.[2][3] After winning her 1,000th game, Hutchins told a reporter that her greatest pride did not come from the 1,000 wins, but from her ability to influence how her players look at life, "to get them to work together and to meet standards, to show them they can lead as women."[2] When she was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame, her players presented her with a scrapbook with a note from one saying, "I came here a girl with potential and left here a woman with no limits." Hutchins noted that those 15 words matter more than the 1,000 wins.[2]

In 2009, the Wolverines advanced to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. They won the first game against Alabama by a score of 6-1. In their second game, they lost a close game to Florida by a score of 1-0. They were eliminated in a 7-5 loss to Georgia on May 30, 2009.[10]

Through the end of the 2009 season, Hutchins has a career record of 1,108-393-4 (.737 winning percentage).

Year-by-Year Results

Season Overall Record Big 10 Record NCAA Tournament NCAA Regional Big 10 Tournament Big 10 Regular Season
1978 12-6
1979 21-8
1980 16-11
1981 19-16
1982 31-14
1983 32-27 9-15 6th
1984 32-24 12-12 4th
1985 28-20 16-8 2nd
1986 32-17 12-12 5th
1987 39-17 17-7 2nd
1988 29-20 15-9 2nd
1989 42-20 16-8 2nd
1990 29-27 12-12 4th
1991 36-19 15-9 3rd
1992 37-24 22-6 2nd 1st
1993 46-13 21-5 2nd 1st
1994 34-26 18-10 T-3rd
1995 50-12 22-6 7th 1st 1st 1st
1996 51-14 20-4 7th 1st 1st 1st
1997 56-16-1 18-4 5th 1st 1st 2nd
1998 56-7 22-1 5th 1st 1st 1st
1999 51-13-1 21-3 5th 2nd 1st
2000 45-16-1 13-4 2nd 1st 2nd
2001 43-17-1 17-3 T-7th 1st 2nd 1st
2002 50-11 15-3 T-7th 1st 1st 1st
2003 44-16 13-5 2nd 4th 2nd
2004 54-13 17-3 T-7th 1st 1st
2005 65-7 15-2 1st(*) 1st 1st 1st
2006 44-15 14-4 1st 1st 2nd
2007 47-13 12-4 1st 3rd
2008 52-8 18-2 1st T-1st
2009 47-12 17-3 1st 1st
Total 1,266-496-4 439-164
*Women's College World Series

All-Americans

Michigan has had 16 NFCA first-team All-American selections.[11]

  • 2009: Nikki Nemitz, at-large pitcher (1st team)
  • 2009: Amanda Chidester, utility non-pitcher (2nd team)
  • 2008: Samantha Findlay, second base (1st team)
  • 2008: Jordan Taylor, pitcher (2nd team)
  • 2008: Alessandra Giampaolo, outfielder (2nd team)
  • 2008: Nikki Nemitz, pitcher (3rd team)
  • 2006: Jennie Ritter, pitcher (1st team)
  • 2006: Becky Marx, catcher (3rd team)
  • 2005: Jennie Ritter, pitcher (1st team)
  • 2005: Jessica Merchant, shortstop (2nd team)
  • 2005: Tiffany Haas, 2nd base (1st team)
  • 2005: Nicole Motycka, designated player (3rd team)
  • 2004: Jessica Merchant, shortstop (2nd team)
  • 2004: Nicole Motycka, pitcher (2nd team)
  • 2004: Tiffany Haas, 2nd base (3rd team)
  • 2003: Marissa Young, utility (2nd team)
  • 2002: Stephanie Volpe, 3rd base (1st team)
  • 2002: Marissa Young, pitcher (3rd team)
  • 2001: Kelsey Kollen, 2nd base (1st team)
  • 2001: Melissa Taylor, outfield (2nd team)
  • 2000: Marissa Young, utility (3rd team)
  • 2000: Stephanie Volpe, designated player (3rd team)
  • 1999: Catherine Davie, outfield (2nd team)
  • 1999: Kelsey Kollen, 2nd base (2nd team)
  • 1999: Traci Conrad, 1st base (3rd team)
  • 1998: Traci Conrad, 1st base (1st team)
  • 1998: Sara Griffin, utility (1st team)
  • 1998: Melissa Gentile, catcher (2nd team)
  • 1998: Kellyn Tate, outfield (2nd team)
  • 1997: Traci Conrad, at-large (1st team)
  • 1997: Kelly Holmes, at-large (2nd team)
  • 1996: Sara Griffin, utility (1st team)
  • 1996: Kellyn Tate, outfield (3rd team)
  • 1995: Kelly Kovach, pitcher (1st team)
  • 1995: Sara Griffin, utility (1st team)
  • 1993: Patti Benedict, outfield (1st team)
  • 1992: Patti Benedict, outfield (3rd team)
  • 1989: Jenny Allard, utility (1st team)
  • 1987: Alicia Seegert, catcher (2nd team)
  • 1987: Vicki Morrow, designated player/utility (2nd team)
  • 1986: Alicia Seegert, catcher (1st team)

References

  1. ^ Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex: Alumni Field MGoBlue.com: University of Michigan Official Athletic Site.
  2. ^ a b c d "A milestone at U-M, a rock for her players: Coach Hutchins sets first-rate standard". Ann Arbor News. 2007-05-03.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Carol Hutchins, Head Coach: 25th Season". MGoBlue.com. http://www.mgoblue.com/softball/coachbio.aspx?id=60806.  
  4. ^ a b "Protect The Block 'M': Long-time Michigan Coach Carol Hutchins changed the face of softball in the Big Ten and across the nation with her Wolverine philosophies". Big Ten Conference. 2007-04-03. http://bigten.cstv.com/sports/wchamp25/spec-rel/040307aaa.html.  
  5. ^ a b c "It can't get much better for Hutchins". Ann Arbor News. 2005-06-12.  
  6. ^ Joanne C. Gerstner (2006-02-16). "Softball players bemoan sport's Olympics demise". The Detroit News.  
  7. ^ a b Kevin Wright (2005-09-05). "National Championship marks softball first". The Michigan Daily. http://www.michigandaily.com/content/national-championship-marks-softball-first.  
  8. ^ Lou Ponsi (2005-03-21). "Softball: Michigan beats No. 1 Arizona to win Klassic; The fourth-ranked Wolverines win the final of the Fullerton tournament, 6-2". The Orange County Register.  
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame: Carol Hutchins". National Fastpitch Coaches Association. http://nfca.org/awards_test/index.php?winner_page=6133.  
  10. ^ "2009 Michigan Softball Schedule". Michigan Softball Archive. http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/w-softbl/archive/mich-w-softbl-sched-2008.html. Retrieved 2009-12-13.  
  11. ^ "University of Michigan Softball". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/softball/softball.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-13.  

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