By STEVEN ROBENAULT, Staff Reporter
The melting snow around campus is a sign of warmer days and impending finals for most students, but to the women of the University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team it means the start of a new season. Now that the usual spring training preparations are completed, the Wolverines have made the trip up from Florida and are ready to officially start playing ball in the midwest.
UM-Dearborn’s first two midwest games were in Indiana against Purdue University Calumet on March 20. The team split with a 8-7 loss and 13-5 victory. In both contests the Wolverines offense executed well with 10 and 17 hits, respectively.
There were also three home runs hit in the win, bringing the total (including spring training) to 23. The Wolverines are certainly a team with a penchant for hitting the long ball; it is ranked 10th in the WHAC conference in home runs and slugging percent (.555) and the season has just begun. Led by Makenzie Trowbridge and Jessie Thueme, the Wolverines will look to continue smashing the baseball over the fences.
Team pitching was more effective in the second game than the first. Pitchers allowed three fewer earned runs while racking up six strikeouts. However, there were eight strikeouts in the first matchup. Opponents are batting .289 against the Wolverines, but pitchers are averaging slightly more than four strikeouts per game.
On March 21, the Wolverines swept a doubleheader with Owens Community College. UM-Dearborn won the first game, 6-1, and the second game, 12-2.
The Wolverines’ next game will be its home opener at Livonia Ladywood High School on March 28 at 1:00 p.m. After many weeks away from friends and family, the women will certainly appreciate a warm homecoming.