At a time when left-handed fifth-grader Megan Bobien was going out in a circle under the intense lights of the last half on Friday night, it was not the first time she had seen the action that day – the circumstances, however, were radically different.
When the sun came up, Bobien started with five innings on the weekend for the 19th softball team in Michigan (8-5 overall) was normal. She kept Northern Kentucky (7-7 overall) without points, only three times letting beats at base. The effort to silence the throw that fans were waiting for put Wolverine in a position to win when their bats finally hit. They made it to the sixth when a three-round blast from senior catcher Hannah Carson won 3-0 and the record won for all time for coach Carol Hutchins.
But this time, in a nightcap, as Duke № 13 (13-3 overall) threatened to win with two participants on board, Bobien had to dig Michigan out of the hole. With two outlines and an equalizer later she led her team to the first setback of the season.
“I think in our (first) game against Duke, we were definitely tough and fought very hard there as a team,” said sophomore Sierra Kersten. “Every effort has been made to do so.”
Bobien is no stranger to victory, but these recent fights against the Blue Devils have completed only the eighth save of his career. Carson is a trusted veteran in field games, but Homer’s victory against the Scandinavian was only her fifth ball of her career. The last run that led to Bobien’s rescue came from a beaten Kersten in the fourth – the first of two home runs over the weekend and in her career.
Throughout Michigan’s 3-1 performance at Duke’s invitation this weekend, each of his accomplishments was a sublime key moment from a less-anticipated area.
“I felt a little shocked,” Kersten said of her home runs. “I feel like we’ve been polishing the whole pre-season and it was great to see the effort pay off.”
On the contrary, the Wolverines were defeated for the most typical reason.
As the Blue Devils battled a vengeful push on Saturday, Michigan bats found their silence. Just three hits, just one for extra bases, was not enough to match the previous night’s results.
The typicality of the loss proved to be not only singular but also a dynamic precursor to the anger that erupted on the plate that night. In a rematch in North Kentucky, the Wolverines scored 16 hits of the season, with Carson’s second home run of the season joined second by Kersten. Even fifth-year student Christina Burkhardt managed to make her usual staging extraordinary, tying her career with high hits.
If by means of these infringements of zones of comfort find step success, there are two answers. The main priority is to focus on turning these short moments into longer trends.
“Sometimes at the beginning of this season everything was a little over and over again, and there are only a few excesses in our swings,” Kersten said. “I think (we’re focusing on that) that we can unfold in a team and also be able to put hits together and tie innings where we can put more pressure on the defense that’s against us.”
As for the second answer, it’s hard not to give the trip a measure of celebration – not only because of the best record of the 3-1 season, but also because of Hutchins ’bigger milestone, which is becoming screams all the way up the ranks of the softball world.
“She cares about us being softball players, but she also cares about us being great women who will impact the world when we leave this program,” Kersten said. “One of the things I like is what she said this weekend about people representing her stuff and hating to be recognized. She said, “I’m just standing here and you guys are winning the game.” She just gives us strength and we all run through the wall for her on any day of the week. ”
And after performing this weekend Hutchins is certainly happier with the success of his players in unfamiliar situations than his own award.