For the final time in the regular season, Indiana softball will depart Bloomington for a weekend series as it travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on the Wolverines.
Team 50 got back on track with a sweep over Rutgers in New Jersey April 21-23, whereas Michigan played tough with Big Ten leaders Northwestern but ended up dropping the series 1-2 to the Wildcats.
The Hoosiers enter the weekend 34-15 and 12-5 in conference games, while the Wolverines are 24-18 and 10-7 in Big Ten play.
Indiana sits in a tie for second with Nebraska in the standings, and Michigan is tied with rival Ohio State for fifth. The top four schools in the conference receive a bye to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Indiana’s offense has propelled it to a historic season - Team 50 has already broken the single-season records for home runs, RBIs and runs scored in 2023. If the season ended today, Indiana’s .319 team batting average would break the program record as well.
Indiana freshman infielder Taryn Kern earned her fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award after hitting .500 against the Scarlet Knights with five walks and three hit by pitches.
Michigan outscored Northwestern 18-7 over the course of the three-game series but lost the series opener 4-3 in 11 innings and the rubber match 3-0 after winning the middle game 15-0 via run-rule.
The Wolverines are led by sophomore Lauren Derkowski in the circle. Derkowski is tied for first in the Big Ten with nine conference wins and ranks second in ERA (1.51) and strikeouts (87) in league play. Derkowski has also tossed two no-hitters against Purdue earlier this season.
At the plate, Graduate Lexie Blair leads the Wolverine offense with a .364 batting average on the season with 43 hits — 13 of them being doubles — 22 RBI and 22 runs.
Michigan has dominated the all-time series between the two schools, 94-29. The Wolverines swept the Hoosiers in all four games the last time the teams faced in March 2021 in Bloomington. Indiana hasn’t won a single game versus Michigan since April 2018 and hasn’t come away victorious in Ann Arbor since 2011.