Michigan softball returns from pause; two Michigan State games rescheduled

Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
·2 min read

Apr. 7—The Michigan softball team returned from a COVID-19 pause on Wednesday and will get in two days of team practice before heading to Ohio State for a four-game series.

Michigan (13-3) was set for its home opener last weekend — the first time playing at Alumni Field since May 2019 — but had to cancel a four-game series against Michigan State because of COVID protocols.

"We will go into full practice, our first time together in a week," Hutchins said this week. "Obviously, we're gonna be missing kids who aren't available, but we can field a team and we're going down to Buckeye-land."

Ohio State (12-7) had a makeup game canceled Monday when Penn State had a COVID issue and could not play. Michigan and OSU will play one game Friday, a doubleheader Saturday and one on Sunday.

Hutchins has been able to work with the team in small groups during the pause. On Tuesday, she said she was on the field from 12:15 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. working with the players.

"That's been every day out there trying to be there for the kids," she said.

Michigan and Michigan State have been able to reschedule two mid-week games, the first at Michigan on April 14 and then at MSU on May 12, the schools announced Wednesday.

MSU coach Jacquie Joseph told The News last week it was important for the Spartans (6-10) to play the Wolverines this season, and she and Hutchins were determined to make it happen.

"It matters," she said. "A lot of people will be like, 'Oh, don't reschedule them, they're better than you.' People who say that don't get it. These kids get four years, and it's the highlight to get to play your in-state rival. We'll go to the end of the earth to make sure they get an opportunity, because we lost all last year. Our job is to make sure they get the best experience possible given they already lost last year."

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis