Michigan is second in the nation and has not lost a game since March 7.
The Wolverines are on a 19-game winning streak, and they are likely the best team Central Michigan softball will face this season. Today’s game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at Margo Jonker Stadium.
“We’re looking forward to playing Michigan,” said head coach Margo Jonker. “They’re obviously a very good team this year and they have a great program. We’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
Michigan has three players who are hitting .400 or better, led by sophomore shortstop Sierra Romero. Romero was a preseason All-American this year, and leads the Wolverines with 10 home runs, 45 RBI and a .515 batting average.
CMU comes into the game having won 10 of its last 13 games. The Chippewas are led offensively by junior third baseman Trista Cox, who leads the team with nine home runs, 28 RBI and a .362 batting average.
“We’re prepared to play Michigan, but our typical mindset is no different,” Cox said. “However, a win would mean a lot just because they’re an in-state school, and we’re fighting to be the top team in the state.”
Senior pitcher Morgan Yuncker has stepped up for the Chippewas as well, having just received MAC West Co-Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season. Yuncker has 2.12 ERA and leads the team with an 8-1 record. She is Today’s probable starter.
As for Michigan, Junior pitcher Haylie Wagner leads what ESPN has said “may be the deepest (pitching) staff in softball.” She has a .095 ERA and a perfect 19-0 record.
The two programs are frequent opponents, and the Wolverines lead the all-time series, 46-30. The Chippewas have not beaten them since the 2006-07 season, and lost last year’s matchup 11-0 in Ann Arbor.
A win today would be monumental for both programs. For CMU, it would be the highest-ranked team any current CMU player will have beaten. For U-M, a win would extend its winning streak to 20 games.
“We go into every game believing we can win,” Jonker said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to play one of our in-state opponents.”
CMU is 26-12 overall, and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference. Michigan is 33-6 overall, and 12-0 in the Big Ten Conference.