It’s the heat of conference play and there are some important match-ups across the nation in almost every conference including the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and more.
Here are some of the most intriguing ones we’re keeping an eye on as we head into the first weekend in April…
After a hearty start to the season that saw them as one of the last six undefeated teams nationwide, Indiana has cooled off some, including being swept in a conference series by Ohio State. Seen by many as a potential Big Ten conference champion, the matchup between the Hoosiers and Wolverines may be the Big Ten’s best softball of the year.
Michigan, almost always a postseason automatic from day one, looks to regain their Big Ten title-winning ways, and a series win over the upstart Hoosiers would be a big step in that direction. Conversely, taking even just two games from the always-hearty Carol Hutchins-led Wolverines would be a big feather in Shonda Stanton’s cap in her second season leading IU.
The Bruins continue their reign atop the national rankings, while the Sun Devils of ASU are coming off of a season-worst performance against their archrivals Arizona. It should be business as usual for UCLA in this conference series, behind Rachel Garcia and Megan Faraimo in the circle, but don't look past the offensively-explosive capabilities of the Sun Devil offense.
Maddi Hackbarth and her home-run power may be the figurehead of that offense, but the lineup is deep with power. Keep an eye on Faraimo, too, who has looked to be a solid backup to Garcia in her true freshman season and will almost assuredly earn a start in the series.